Zackary Drucker: Aimee Goguen, 38
"To me, Aimee Goguen’s work unlocks a limitless and imaginative internal universe. It spans genres and is truly masterful in every form. She is an abject visionary and a prolific artist’s artist in Los Angeles."
The works included in the show feature re-imaginings of ancient mythology with contemporary issues. A painting called Bus Stop (Leda and her Cygnets) become a parable for gun violence. Adams often features himself in his work, portraying himself as Zeus with a freaky looking grizzly bear. The work is a wonderful reminder that figurative painting is not only relevant, it’s ferocious. His images stare straight out from the canvas, locking you into their gaze. But before the relationship becomes a virtual stare-down, humour, compassion and joyous surrealism disrupt the intensity. Liberation ensues.
Or the cyanotype frames (photographic procedure) by Antonia Wright, who “integrates and combines her body and that of a palm tree, forming a union between the human body and nature,” Mitrani pointed out.
I create self-portraits often and especially when something extraordinary is happening. This was the first time I got fillers injected and I loved the bruising on my face.
I do participate in Pride but I don’t believe it’s a value that we should elevate. I think of pride as conceit and have expunged pride from my life in order to not be vulnerable to shame. The only way to not have any shame is to not have pride and to find humility.
"Solmi reimagines these figures as devilishly smiling partiers, who are unconcerned with the people – particularly Native victims of colonialist action – who are trampled over by their revelry. The show, through all its varied mediums, points a finger towards the rampant deification of these historical figures despite the atrocities and pain they perpetuated and profited from."
THE SHOPHOUSE gallery in Hong Kong is pleased to present group exhibition “I & the ME” by Anders Lindseth, Iabadiou Piko, Josh Reames, Julian Watts, Kour Pour, Mahsa Tehrani, Osamu Kobayashi, Yves Scherer and Zhang Ji. Participating artists are invited to create two works, one representing “I”, the subjective side of the artists evaluating themselves. Another piece about “Me” – the objective side of themselves shaped by the market, exploring how artists rover around today’s art world.
This unique group exhibitions features recent works of 32 established and emerging artists, manyare exhibiting at the gallery for the first time. The exhibition encompasses a variety of media, scale, and modes of presentation, with artworks that address themes of cultural resilience, the articulation of marginalized histories, and the significance of embodied knowledge.
"The real showstoppers — Solmi’s video paintings — are situated in the main gallery. Created using a unique synthesis of painting, drawing, 3D digital animation, gaming, screen recording and motion capture software, each video is developed through a process that may take up to three years to complete. Seeking to achieve what he views as a humanizing of artificial looking digital imagery, Solmi scans the textures of hand-drawn or painted figures, objects, and settings, and maps the scans over digital skeletons, the blueprint-like imagery that is created using animation software. Motion is incorporated by capturing movements that he and his assistants create in the studio. In this way he creates compositions that resemble expressionistic figurative paintings brought to life. "
Ken Gonzales-Day is among the artists included in “Photo Flux: Unshuttering LA” at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The exhibition opens when Getty Center re-opens on May 25, and will be on view through October 10. “Photo Flux” features pictures by 35 Los Angeles-based artists who challenge ideals related to beauty, representation, cultural capital and objectivity. It was curated by jill moniz.
"My paintings seems spontaneous, but it is not so unexpected, considering the amount of work I do before engaging in a series. I can think about a subject for months before I paint it. I obsessively accumulate many images in my notebooks around a topic. Afterward, in the studio, it is momentarily translated into paint. I know what I want to paint, and then I let the images develop and let them flow. I discover my pictures as I paint them, and I love the surprise of this process. "
Ken Gonzales-Day’s large-scale digital print Monumental Vision: Labor/Lenin(2020) is a pigment print on vinyl itself at a monumental scale, which considers the fate of discarded sculptural testaments to Soviet rule in the implicit context of toppled Confederate monuments in the U.S. and indeed, the altars to violent colonialism that pollute so much of the world.
Solmi’s recurring subject is the knowing abuse of power, and he has a bleak and urgent message for us regarding this particularly agonizing moment in history: it has happened before, it will happen again, and there is very little within our power to stop it. Bucking convention, Solmi even sees it from the perspective of the aggressors, whose greatest wish is to wall themselves off from the rest of us, the better to enjoy the fruits of their plunder.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles has moved his gallery to Mateo Street in DTLA. His space is now heroic in size. Federico Solmi inaugurates the gallery. Solmi dominantly uses computing processes to produce his extravagant morality play films/videos. There are so many skillful layers from the unique painted frames that surround the video monitors to the “films” themselves. I must call his films, films. The word “video” is too simple to describe the depth and nuance of Solmi’s art. The opportunity to experience Solmi’s work wearing Virtual Reality goggles is beyond wondrous. A peak experience. Take this opportunity while you can.
Evita Tezeno’s mixed media collages are folksy images crafted from colorful and patterned paper. On view are both close cropped portraits and full-bodied figures with exaggerated features who often appear in flowery fields of green, a cheerful setting that contrasts with the works’ titles. While the images pay homage to artists like Romare Bearden, Tezeno’s whimsical representations feel like fairytales filled with determined, loving and compassionate figures. Through evocative titles such as “The Soul Knows My Silence,” “My Dreams Make Me Who I Am,” and “My Life Tells Where I Have Been,” Tezeno evokes the plight and struggles of her subjects.
On view now in the Taschen Family Gallery, Transformations: Living Room -> Flea Market -> Museum -> Art examines how a political watershed moment, the fall of the Berlin Wall, initiated a radical change in the perception of art and culture. The show presents the metamorphosis of objects from everyday life through discarded flea market items to museum pieces, where they finally become sources of artistic inspiration. Transformations includes materials from the Getty Conservation Institute as well as works by contemporary artists Chelle Barbour, Ken Gonzales-Day, Farrah Karapetian, Richtje Reinsma, Daphne Rosenthal, Jennifer Vanderpool, and Bari Ziperstein.
Federico Solmi will feature VR art, video paintings, paintings and drawings in the inauguration exhibition of Luis De Jesus Los Angeles's new gallery in the DTLA Arts District.
In recent years, and particularly since the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement, many of his paintings have focused on issues of systemic racism, including violence against African Americans, slavery and mass incarceration. He has said that he always “believed in the idea of bearing witness to the times in which you live.”
Williams’ current work, he said, is incorporating the emergence of environmental factors into “this bigger project” he’s been exploring for his entire career — that of the Black experience.
In his “Profiled” project, artist and art historian Gonzales-Day has mined the collections of established museums such as J. Paul Getty and the Smithsonian, among others, photographing portrait busts exploring Western assumptions about beauty and human value through the material legacies of slavery, colonialism and white privilege.
Five years ago, in the spring of 2017, Surrey Art Gallery featured Adams’ work in “The Irretrievable Moment,” the biggest exhibition of his career. The title reflected the tone and nature of his art, which curators said “combines historical events with speculative futures, real people in imagined situations, and mythological people in contemporary scenarios.” Meantime, the ongoing pandemic hasn’t really changed the way Adams paints at his home studio.
A few weeks ago I talked about the solo exhibition, Better Days, at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles by Dallas based artist Evita Tezeno. Her collage paintings on canvas and rag board introduce you to a variety of characters in everyday life. And what interesting characters they are…Sunday was the last day of the exhibition, and Tezeno flew to Los Angeles to hold a private reception for its closing. I asked her if the characters in her paintings are based on real people. Does she photograph them first? To my surprise, her answer was no. She paints from memory, inspired by family, friends and neighbors. For me, it was another example of how a conversation with an artist deepens the experience of their work.
Despite the artist’s more provocative paintings that attempt to provide social commentary about Cuba, it is when Sanchez’s attention is truly focused — in his reverential tribute to his wife, “Laura” (2020), for example — that the viewer is compelled to start paying attention, too. The exquisite amount of tenderness he takes, with each tendril of her hair, the exact purse of her lips, even the wisps of her lower eyelashes, is a reminder that paying attention to others is sometimes the most radical act of all.
Like transplanting skin, interdisciplinary artist Edra Soto inserts her replicas of vernacular Puerto Rican architectural forms, namely the wrought iron rejas screens and concrete quiebrasoles ubiquitous on the island, into new spaces throughout the Americas in her ongoing GRAFT series. The migration of these forms becomes a metaphor for literal migration, raising issues of colonization, identity, and family in works that stretch wall-to-wall across galleries spaces or become free-standing structures, such as Screenhouse—her public commission for Chicago’s Millennium Park on view through April 2022.
Her characters possess overwhelming pride in their surroundings, their loved ones, and the attention paid to how they represent themselves. Viewing Tezeno’s lively colored work replicates a leisurely drive through a small Black town, encountering its most fascinating figures, passing by shotgun houses and acres of green landscape or leafing through an old family photo album and seeing mixed-media collage versions of beloved relatives on page after page.
Evita Tezeno's first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, Better Days, features colorful collage paintings that depict a cast of black and brown characters in harmonious and joyful everyday scenes inspired by the artist's life, memory & dreams.
And at Playwrights Horizons in Midtown, the Mexican-American artist Ken Gonzales-Day is placing photographs of sculptures of human figures in display cases, encouraging viewers to reckon with definitions of beauty and race. Those displays are part of rotating public art series organized by the artist, activist, and writer Avram Finkelstein and the set and costume designer David Zinn.
Capturing artists, writers, photographers, dancers, and opera singers living and working in Cuba, Gabriel Sanchez’s exhibition at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is dedicated to the Cuban avant-garde community from the perspective as a first-generation Cuban-American. “Mirando Al Mundo” (Looking at the World) documents the artist’s creative contemporaries—often naked, or isolated against solid colored backgrounds or blue skylines—with inquisitiveness and sensitivity. In the press release, Sanchez reveals many of his models are openly gay in a country that stifles #LGBTQ expression, yet are willing to tell their stories through his paintings. The exhibition is an empowering portrayal of a generation who are stripped bare of garb and fable in order to redefine an abstruse reality.
Carla Jay Harris developed her “Celestial Bodies” series, which features mythological female figures, to reflect on the universal notion of belonging.
As the planet enters the beginning of a post-pandemic, post-Trump administration era, it was wonderful to be baptized in optimism from Evita Tezeno’s exhibition, “Better Days” at the Luis De Jesus Los Angeles gallery. One sweeping taste of these works results in a single message: Tezeno’s unique voice reflects a masterful synthesis of several groundbreaking aesthetic approaches that pay tribute to Black culture in her use of acrylic mixed-media collage on rag paper.
Employing richly patterned hand-painted papers and found objects in a contemporary folk-art style, Evita Tezeno’s colorful collage paintings on canvas and rag board depict a cast of characters in harmonious everyday scenes. Inspired by her family and friends, childhood memories in South Texas, personal dreams and moments from her adult life—and influenced by the great 20th century modernists Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, and William H. Johnson—scenes of joy animate her vision of a Black America filled with humanity.
Reames views the visual complexity of his paintings as a strength, rather than being willfully cryptic for its own sake. "There can be moments of discovery or ahas down the road,” Reames says. “All the artwork that I live with, I typically will discover new things in it down the line, and that’s a really important experience for me — the kind of experience I want other people to have with it.”
From his fascination with flying to his desire to see the world in its totality from space, [Jim] Adams’s decades-long art pursuit seems as much about the scope of his journey as a Black man moving through time and mapping the coordinates of pleasure and meaning as it is about the paintings those experiences have produced. This is the visual literacy we need to engage now, so that instead of performing allyship through what’s trending, viewers come to understand how Black diasporic people, and specifically, one Black man, might interpret identity and mobility vis-à-vis painting.
Tezeno uses collage and vibrant colors to tell a visual narrative of her life experiences. “I hold close the memories of days gone by. I relish the time before there were Wi-Fi, cell phones and so many other technological visual distractions,” says the artist in her statement.
Evita Tezeno and Jas Mardis speak with Good Morning Texas about their show Sharing Memories, currently on view at Art Centre of Plano.
My paintings are a celebration of positive contemporary possibilities. In an era of mass-media thought-coercion, my work is committed to the preservation of intellectual and spiritual independence. I invest my seemingly whimsical subjects with genuine purpose, presence, and the intense assuredness of self-realization. My vibrant portraiture of moments and my casual characters alert the viewer to the urgent need to develop, express, and celebrate the saving force of indelible personality. My process involves gathering images and arranging storyboards from a broad array of sources ranging from Venice street life, to a multitude of paintings and photography in art history; to the contemporary art scene.
Beyond being eye-catching, some of the works reflect the times we are living in. Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares’ light installation “Yes/No” was inspired by the protests against racial injustice that have been happening for years and came to the forefront in 2020.
In the Profiled series, Gonzales-Day recontextualized sculptures by putting them in conversation only with other sculptures- and the fraught spaces between them. Not dissimilar to theater, his Profiled works tell complex, socially layered stories by simply placing human figures together across empty space. Gonzales-Day describes, "I wanted to take these existing objects and give them a voice, a chance to be in dialogue with us and with each other across time. They're from different periods, they're from different places, some are identified, some are unidentified, which speaks to questions of who has a voice and who is denied a voice, who is represented and who is denied representation.
But, it’s not all international artists. Illuminate includes local flavor. Antonia Wright, artist: “We are so excited to be a part of Illuminate Coral Gables. It’s just a really uplifting and inspiring exhibition that questions the medium of light.” Ruben Millares, artist: “We love how they all integrate, and you can see them across all of downtown Coral Gables, so no matter where you are you get a nice visual of one or several of the pieces.”
Pacific Standard Time will include dozens of simultaneous exhibitions and programs focused on the intertwined histories of art and science, past and present, that together address some of the most complex challenges of the 21st century—from climate change and environmental racism to the current pandemic and artificial intelligence—and the creative solutions these problems demand.
Although Adams casts Black men and women in the role of classical heroes and deities, his work isn’t only a commentary on current events and geopolitics. Adams’ practice also captures dramatic skyscapes, planetary eclipses, and astral constellations that are apolitical and ahistorical. By connecting mythic subjects, modern-day people, and dream-like settings in his paintings, Adams uncovers qualities of our nature that have remained the same throughout time.
Evita Tezeno has exhibited at the ArtCentre previously, and this time will be showcasing her Cubism-inspired collages. Evita works with handmade paper, acrylic paint and found objects. Her work has been lauded by entertainers, media personalities and professional athletes for its use of color, texture and shapes. She has been commissioned by the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, the Deep Ellum Film Festival and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
The two first met at a party in California for Stephen Hawking. Levin had written about the Nobel Prize–winning physicist Kip Thorne in her 2016 book Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space, and the Los Angeles–based Halloran—an associate professor of art at Chapman University whose work is represented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles—had been working with Thorne on a decade-in-the-making mix of writing and art about what she called “the warped side of the universe” (to be published next year by W. W. Norton & Company).
“Eternal Witness” is a show emblematic of the endless pertinence of history. Adams maintains that history is just as relevant today as it ever was when it was happening. The scenarios may change but he pursues the notion that the ideas driving humanity, for instance, the glorification of war or striving for power, remain persistent throughout time. The pyramid, a common structure throughout this series, remains a pinnacle of historic monuments that are significant in themselves but also carry individual projections. In Eternal Symbol 1996, the structure of cosmic proportions that has sparked conspiracy theories about its origins is positioned in an orangey burnt sienna background high above dusts of a cerulean blue sky.
Eternal Witness marks Jim Adams' first solo exhibition with the Gallery. The exhibition will present new paintings and sketches completed over the last four years along with a selection of works dating to the turn of the millennium.
The exhibition presents new paintings and sketches completed over the last four years along with a selection of works from the 1990s and 2000s. Philadelphia born Adams has lived in Canada since the 1970's and at age 78, this marks his first solo exhibition in the United States in over 45 years.
Jim Adams, an artist based out of British Columbia, presents a collection of paintings and drawings mostly drawn from a series named Mythic Sketches. The artist is interested in how myths, “both classic and obscure,” still represent the realities and struggles we undergo today: “jealousy, ambition, hubris, greed, and the glorification of warfare.” His images carry signs of ancient Egyptian pyramids and ruins, but his subjects are updated for the times: all heroes and deities wear 21st-century garb.
Mr. Olujimi’s portrait series starts sober, the early entries often literal, in black or blue ink. But soon he was applying color washes, emphasizing traits, blurring others, doubling or tripling his subject’s likeness. With rich colors and deconstructive verve in the later portraits, the series recalls a jazz piece that improvises on a theme toward a raucous, polyphonal resolution.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles has revealed works by its artists that have recently added to museum collections. The Nasher Museum in Durham, North Carolina, acquired Peter Williams‘s 2020 painting Birdland; the Baltimore Museum of Art acquired photos from two series, “Relationship” and “Before and After,” by Zackary Drucker; Federico Solmi‘s video installation The Great Farce Portable Theater was acquired by the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; Edra Soto’s installation Open 24 Hours is now held in the collection of the DePaul Art Museum in Chicago; and five works by Erik Olson have been acquired by the Art Gallery of Alberta in Calgary, Canada. Additionally, the gallery announced that Lia Halloran has been named a 2020–21 City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellow. As such, Halloran will be awarded a $10,000 grant to produce a new body of work.
Mary Salvante, the director of Rowan Universtiy Art Gallery and curator of this exhibition art titled "The Bacchanalian Ones," by Federico Solmi, which will include virtual reality and augmented reality works.
The Rowan University Art Gallery offers a couple of reasons why people should make an appointment during a pandemic to see its newest exhibition, “The Bacchanalian Ones” by Federico Solmi, in person. The exhibition provides a rare opportunity in South Jersey to see art enhanced by augmented and virtual reality.
In other words, Hyde forces us to look with fresh eyes through visual propositions that challenge our habits of seeing. At times he achieves astonishing poetry. A good example in the show is Goddess (2020), which brings together acrylic and acrylic dispersion painted over an inkjet print. The painting reads as abstract, until you begin to notice the presence of the photographic image beneath. However, Hyde obviates any attempt to clearly interpret this image by painting over it.
The show also features work by June Edmonds, André Hemer, Kambui Olujimi, and Edra Soto. This Saturday, December 19, all six participating artists will be talking about “making art during a year unlike any other”in a Zoom conversation moderated by Luis De Jesus and Lindsay Preston Zappas, editor-in-chief of CARLA. While we sorely miss in-person events, remote talks like this one make it easier for all artists to participate, so don’t miss this rare occasion.
Federico Solmi’s timely solo exhibition here, “The Bacchanalian Ones,” interrogates the greed and corruption of world leaders both past and present. The artist’s paintings and multimedia installations caricature his famous (and often infamous) subjects—from the realms of politics, religion, the military, and the aristocracy—by combining digital technology with the most traditional of media. Solmi’s acidic portraits reveal these renowned figures for what they really are: soulless prevaricators crazed by power.
Unreachable Spring takes its title from the eponymous painting by Laura Krifka. The painting was slated to be featured as the sole work in her first Viewing Room on the gallery website, accompanied by an essay by the writer and art critic Andrew Berardini. Laura began the painting in late March—within days of the start of the Covid lockdown in the U.S., and shortly after learning that she and her husband were expecting their first child. By summer it had become clear to us that it was the lede for a deeper exploration of ideas and subject matter.
Ken Gonzales-Day is a Los Angeles-based artist whose interdisciplinary practice considers the historical construction of race and the limits of representational systems ranging from lynching photographs to museum displays. He is a professor of art at Scripps College in Claremont, CA where he has taught since 1995. Gonzales-Day’s Erased Lynching series features photos of lynching postcards where he removes, or 'erases,' the victims in order to focus on the white crowds gathered to witness the murders.
When I set out to write this piece on women fiber artists in the Hudson Valley, I didn't recognize the brazen naivete of my quest. Fiber is not like paint—it is not a single material. It is terrycloth and leather, polyester batting and velvet, microfiber, fur, wool roving, cotton thread, raw silk, muslin, burlap, tulle. And that is just a sampling of what artists in this "medium" are working with to create sculpture and three-dimensional drawings, site-specific installations, and wall-mounted works. I tried to find a through line with the historical aspect of women's fiber and textile crafts, but some were rejecting it, some were carrying the torch, and some were indifferent. So rather than try to find a neat container that encompasses this beautiful gamut of creators, I would rather simply say: Behold these splendid, talented artists creating utterly distinctive and beautiful work that makes use of fiber.
Peter Williams: Black Universe, a three-part exhibition curated by Larry Ossei-Mensah and Rebecca Mazzei featuring abstract and figurative works by painter Peter Williams (NA 2018), is on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and Trinosophes through January 10. A concurrent exhibition was presented earlier this year at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. Understanding the impact of both the presence and absence of the body, Williams pushes the boundaries of this dichotomy to shed light on the interconnectivity of personal and historical experience. Williams’s 2019-20 Black Exodus series, prominently featured in Black Universe, draws on art history, popular culture, and Afrofuturism to tell the story of a group of African Americans who leave Earth due to environmental disaster. Narration and Transition, 2012-19, a survey of abstract painting on view at Trinosophes, reveals what Williams calls his “underpainting”—the visual and ideological foundations of his work. This oscillation between fixed and fluid signifiers reveals Williams’s search for a porous kind of truth, susceptible to the mirroring of past and present events.
"When we entered 2020, I was in the middle of creating a new body of work for my shows at MOCAD and Trinosophes, both in Detroit, as well as my gallery, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. The exhibitions are titled Black Universe and include works from Black Exodus, a series of Afrofuturist paintings that are a personal response to hate crimes committed against POC which prompted a desire to leave this planet and escape to a new world."
BRIC has announced the ten winners of its second annual Colene Brown Art Prize, which awards $10,000 to New York-based artists yet to receive institutional support.
Of the 2020 recipients, Zachary Fabri, Christophe Roberts and Scherezade Garcia are based in Brooklyn. The other winners are: Caitlin Cherry, Nate Lewis, Joiri Minaya, Kambui Olujimi, Erwin Redl, Naomi Safran-Hon and Michelle Segre.
Montreal-based painter Nicolas Grenier places recognizable diagrammatic shapes in colourful gradients to mimic political affiliation graphs and charts. While viewing the artwork, visitors are provided with an Approval Matrix sheet—via PDF for online visits—to map their positions on the current state of the world and where it’s headed.
The New York–based Joan Mitchell Foundation has named the twenty-five artists who are recipients of this year’s Painters & Sculptors grants, which are meant to assist artists making exceptional work and who are seen as deserving greater national recognition. Each grantee will receive $25,000 in unrestricted funds. The foundation, which was formed in 1993 to celebrate and expand the abstract painter’s vision, noted in a statement that it felt especially compelled to make the awards this year, given the current landscape in which artists are operating.
At Luis De Jesus in Culver City, a group show gathers a loose array of artworks that were made in response to recent events. With so many crises affecting our country, the work diverges in focus, addressing a range of issues: pandemic’s loneliness, the toppling of monuments, and the lives lost to police brutality. Unusually, the gallery has included artist statements next to each artwork, allowing the viewer into the thinking behind each work, and providing a connective personal tone across the exhibition
While group shows can sometimes lack a coherent vision, this one seems worth a trip. All of the works were made during the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from bitingly political paintings to beautiful reflections on home. The featured artists are June Edmonds, André Hemer, Laura Krifka, Kambui Olujimi, Edra Soto, and Peter Williams.
Texas native Evita Tezeno is known for her whimsical collages that capture the beauty and joy of day to day experiences. Her mixed media depictions of Black women, men, and children are inspired by moments from her own life as well as children’s stories. Through her work, Evita seeks to inspire the viewer and bring laughter to the lives of others.
Unreachable Spring is a group exhibition featuring artists prompted by a desire to take refuge in their work and address this transformational moment in a personal way.
Speaking from separate corners of Chicago, Chicago artists Bob Faust, Edra Soto, and Sadie Woods and art historian Greg Foster-Rice brought warmth, passion, and a will to change the world to their panel discussion of art and its potential as agent of social change (part of the Terra Foundation for American Art’s Art Design Chicago program and the Chicago Humanities Festival).The panel began with each artist showcasing their recent work, beginning with Edra Soto’s Graft, recently displayed at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography. Graftborrows from iron screens common in post-war Puerto Rican architecture to allow Soto—and the viewer—to explore the devastation wrought in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria and the later inaction by the United States, the invested colonial power.
In the exhibition’s accompanying text the artist writes, “These paintings fold in on themselves to protect, they fold back on themselves as they attempt to reconstruct. These paintings guard their own inner reality.” To Bonner, cutouts “betray an inner confusion and chaos,” while layered images “depict second guesses.” Fittingly, the star-shaped folds conjure memories of paper fortune tellers that succinctly relayed our destinies in times when the future felt less tenuous. Shifting stories (v1-v3)deflect any sense of a neatly ordered reality. They indulge entropic anxieties.
Ken Gonzales-Day is a Los Angeles-based artist whose interdisciplinary practice considers the historical construction of race and the limits of representational systems ranging from lynching photographs to museum displays. Gonzales-Day received a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, an MFA from the University of Colifornia, Irvine and a MA from Hunter College in New York. He is a professor of art at Scripps College in Claremont,CA where he has taught since 1995. In 2017 he was awareded a Guggenheim fellowship in photography.
Over the past four decades, the American painter Peter Williams has created a body of work that’s vibrant and deeply personal. A true master of his medium, Williams is known for his multi-layered works that blend styles (from pointillism to abstraction), unbear histories of racism, and challenge viewers to uncover the meanings behind the many references that fill his canvases.
Puerto Rican artist Edra Soto's work will be featured in "Unreachable Spring," a group exhibit of works done during the Covid-19 pandemic and which opens at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles gallery on Oct. 17. Soto's piece "Let Love Win" depicts many faces on embossed metal which are highlighted by ink of different colors. One of those faces depicts Breonna Taylor, the Black woman killed by police in her own apartment in Louisville, Kentucky, on March 13 of this year.
Vienna-based artist André Hemer spent lockdown creating new paintings based on his process of layering thick, colorful paint streaks on a flatbed scanner and digitally scanning them. These abstract works, alongside his first sculptures, are on view in the artist’s first New York solo show, and capture something of the isolation of lockdown and the unexpected beauty of a slower-paced life.
A conversation with a deported Mexican immigrant he met on the streets of Tijuana became a stop-motion animation art piece that won artist Hugo Crosthwaite first prize in “The Outwin: American Portraiture,” a Smithsonian exhibition featured at the Springfield Museums.
A Smithsonian-sponsored exhibit of works by 50 select artists from throughout the country opens today in the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts at the Springfield Museums. The artists were finalists in “The Outwin: American Portraiture Today,” running through April 4. Among the works is first prize-winner Hugo Crosthwaite of San Diego, the first Latinx artist to receive this award since the national competition was founded in 2006.
LOS ANGELES — Peter Williams has long engaged issues of American racism and the Black experience, and his new exhibition Black Universe at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is no different: his paintings include flying cars, abstracted landscapes, snatches of text (“Trump,” “Wall Street,” “Lawyers,” “Floater,” and “Help” all appear), and Black astronauts whose need to wear helmets in space makes me think of the phrase “I can’t breathe.” Williams’s astronauts extend the Afrofuturist theme of escaping the minefields of racism — as he explained in an interview, the Black Universe series “started out with my decision to leave the planet and the way to do that would be to take my 12-year-old car down to Cuba and have them retrofit it and put on some rockets and stuff.”
Works from the triennial’s fifth edition, including Crosthwaite’s stop-motion drawing animation, “A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez,” can still be viewed online at portraitcompetition.si.edu. The Outwin 2019 will also travel to the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield Museums, Massachusettes (October 3, 2020–April 4, 2021) and the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. (September 10, 2020–January 23, 2022).
Virtual Exhibition Openings at the Wende Museum. A virtual opening to celebrate the launch of two new exhibitions: Transformations: Living Room -> Flea Market -> Museum -> Art and See Thy Neighbor: Stern Photographers Thomas Hoepker and Harald Schmitt in the GDR, presented via the 3-D platform Matterport. The program will feature a panel discussion with Transformations artists including Ken Gonzales Day.
Elon Musk’s company, SpaceX, is ramping up its efforts to inhabit Mars, raising crucial questions about who gets left out of fantasies of space colonization. Artist Peter Williams explores Afrofuturist themes in this painting titled “He Was a Global Traveler.”
In honor of the release of Legacy Russell‘s Glitch Feminism, Russell and a group of artists, writers, and activists including Salome Asega, Caitlin Cherry, Zoé Samudzi, Tsige Tafesse, McKenzie Wark, Mandy Harris Williams, and Jenna Wortham will gather on Zoom to respond to the text. Glitch Feminism is a vital new manifesto and Russell’s research as a curator breaks new ground on themes of gender, performance, digital selfdom, internet idolatry, and new-media ritual. The celebration’s format—a Zoom critical discussion, and everyone’s invited—couldn’t be more apt.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce that Peter Williams (b. 1952) has been named the recipient of the Artists’ Legacy Foundation 2020 Artist Award. Williams’ vibrant paintings and works on paper combine allegorical tales, personal experiences, current events, and art historical references to actively confront subjects ranging from racism and oppression to mass incarceration and environmental destruction.
Rowan University Art Gallery presents The Bacchanalian Ones, an exhibition that investigates the contradictions and inaccuracies in historical narratives that have led society to a chaotic era of misinformation, corruption, and hypocrisy. On view by appointment from November 2, 2020 – January 9, 2021, The Bacchanalian Ones will feature augmented reality-based artworks, a new virtual reality project, paintings, and never before seen video animations from artist Federico Solmi.
Evita Tezeno is a collage artist who spends about 12-hours a day, 6-days a week inside her Dallas art studio working on her latest project; a 19-piece collection of collages inspired by the pandemic. "It's called 'Daughters of the Crown'," Tezeno said, pointing out the 'corona' means crown. "I was sketching one night and looking at the news, and it just came to me."Each piece features the same character, depicted with different aspects of living in a pandemic."I chose a Black woman to represent that," Tezeno said. "It's very personal. It's very personal. I had an artist friend that perished because of COVID."
In his exhibition Black Universe (a concurrent exhibition of related works is on view at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit), he presents a series of paintings that are informed by a fantastic narrative about a journey to outer space in search of a better world. Williams depicts the adventures of dark-skinned astronauts —whose uniforms identify them as part of ‘NABA’— floating through space as well as on new planets. The paintings incorporate various styles and use familiar corporate trademarks like FedEx and the Nike swoosh. While they may inspire viewers to laugh, they are also critiques that touch on more serious issues. Without a doubt, the paintings on view are an impressive body of work: They are large, colorful and jam-packed; as one looks longer and deeper, more is revealed.
Delaware-based artist Peter Williams has won the Artists’ Legacy Foundation’s 2020 Artist Award, a $25,000 prize granted annually to a painter or sculptor who has made significant contributions to their field and whose work “shows evidence of the hand.” The foundation, which is headquartered in Oakland, California, named Howardena Pindell as last year’s winner.
If you’re looking to add to your art collection, or maybe even start one, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego brings back its biennial Art Auction. Bid on a variety of artworks for sale — from painting and sculpture to photography and works on paper — created by emerging and international artists including Leonardo Drew, June Edmonds, Luchita Hurtado, Jean Lowe and more.
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale will kick off its new exhibition season with New Art South Florida, the 2020 South Florida Cultural Consortium (SFCC) exhibition. Featuring the work of 13 preeminent South Florida artists who are recipients of the 2020 South Florida Cultural Consortium awards, the exhibition will be curated by NSU Art Museum's Director and Chief Curator, Bonnie Clearwater, a longtime champion of South Florida artists. The exhibition's artists work in a wide range of mediums and include: Broward County: Nathalie Alfonso, Shane Eason and Andriana Mereuta; Miami-Dade County: Itzel Basualdo, Franky Cruz, GeoVanna Gonzalez, Nicolas Lobo, Monica Lopez De Victoria, Kareem Tabsch and Antonia Wright; Palm Beach County: Ates Isildak; and Monroe County: Michel Delgado and Mark Hedden.
Artist Peter Williams has been awarded the 2020 Artist Award through the Artists’ Legacy Foundation, which boasts a $25,000 (~£19,000) grant. Williams’ oeuvre centres on themes of racism, incarceration, police brutality, voyeurism and environmental topics through a vibrant, figurative manner that invites viewers to search for “clues and insight about the Black experience.”
Peter Williams Wins Artists’ Legacy Foundation 2020 Award – The Delaware-based artist, who has spent four decades documenting current and historical events in brightly colored works that highlight the Black American experience with wit and humor, has won the annual $25,000 award. Williams incorporates scenes of police brutality, slavery, environmental damage, and cultural stereotypes into his work, and his most recent series chronicles the life of an Afrofuturist superhero.
“The Democracy Project: 2020” manifests the great, besieged “project of Democracy” as an online exhibition for Artillery’s September/October issue, featuring recent work by a diverse selection of the West Coast’s most compelling artists. Whether approaching the theme ironically, or with reverence (or a bit of both), the artists below are chosen for their political engagement, provocative content, and significant contributions to the diversity of the art world. ARTISTS: Kim Abeles, Sama Alshaibi, Aaron Coleman, Eileen Cowin, Asad Faulwell, Corey Grayhorse, Mark Steven Greenfield, Salim Green, Ken Gonzales-Day, Alexander Kritselis, Ann Le, Alejandro Macias, Renée Petropoulos, Mike Reesé, Miles Regis, Julio M. Romero, Stephanie Syjuco, Meital Yaniv.
The Artists’ Legacy Foundation named Peter Williams as the recipient of its 2020 Artist Award, which grants $25,000 to a “painter or sculptor who has made significant contributions to their field and whose work shows evidence of the hand,” according to a press release. Over the course of more than forty years, Williams’s painting practice has reflected on racism, police brutality, incarceration, and environmentalism, often through a vivid, figurative lens.
The South Florida Cultural Consortium (SFCC) announces 13 awards to distinguished South Florida artists through its 2020 Visual and Media Artists Program. The Consortium, an alliance of the arts councils of Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach Counties, has recognized seven individuals from Miami-Dade County (including Antonia Wright), three from Broward County, one from Palm Beach County, and two from Monroe County.
Peter Williams is this year’s recipient of the Artists’ Legacy Foundation’s annual Artist Award, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000 purse. Williams is known for his vibrant paintings and works on paper that address racism, mass incarceration, environmental destruction, and other current issues. The artist’s works often contain references to allegories, personal experiences, pop culture, and art history. “I’m trying to be subversive by saying underneath all this humor is something we’d better start paying attention to,” he has said of his practice. “And I’m using the signs and symbols and signifiers that I learned from the Western tradition of oil painting.”
Peter Williams was awarded the Artists’ Legacy Foundation‘s 2020 Artist Award.
Former Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, Ken Gonzales-Day, thinks about who is and who is not represented in the National Portrait Gallery and in the Smithsonian collection as a whole, while researching in the institution’s massive digital archive.To commemorate MHz Foundation’s collaboration with the Smithsonian Open Access initiative, we asked artist Shana Lutker, one of MHz Curationist’s Advising Editors, to introduce the new Smithsonian Open Access collections to artists and talk with them about what they found.
In early August, artist Peter Williams presented The George Floyd Triptych (2020), at Untitled, Art Online, the art fair’s inaugural virtual event. The work, which depicts the arrest, death, and burial of Floyd in three panels, was the central focus of the Luis De Jesus Los Angeles virtual booth. Untitled, Art hosted a Zoom conversation with Williams and critic John Yau. The two discussed the paintings and the artist’s lengthy career.
“Al otro lado” is a phrase used in Mexico referring to shared borders with the United States and the space populated by many Mexican immigrants on the other side of the Mexico/US border. Inspired by award-winning author Reyna Grande’s A Dream Called Home, a required text for FIU’s First-Year Experience Program, Otros Lados weaves narratives of historical memory, personal experience, and social justice. The works of Itzel Basualdo, Hugo Crosthwaite, and Judithe Hernández offer shared vantage points with Grande’s memoir, bringing distinct perspectives to Mexican and Mexican American experiences.
Peter Williams’ query is one with a storied lineage within the Black community. Over the course of 45 years, Williams, a senior professor of painting at the University of Delaware with time spent in the Detroit arts community and as a professor at Wayne State University, has tackled problematic social structures of white supremacy and discrimination with uncensored perspectives. Curious and inquisitive, he is often in a state of mental travel and critical culture investigation within his practice.
“Seed to Harvest,” an outdoor photo exhibition at Wellesley College by artist Alexandria Smith, portrays five of the first Black graduates of the college in bold portraits. For her final project, Elana Bridges, class of 2020, brought the show online and drafted in-depth bios of each graduate to accompany the photographs.
“I thought it was important to highlight where they were coming from before Wellesley … to make a point that Wellesley didn’t make them special,” says Bridges. “These women on their own, in their own right, were gifted and deserved to be in this space. Wellesley gave them the tools to continue their social justice work.”
There is no precedent for 2020 and no reference point for this particular confluence of events. The injustices and inequalities that afflict some of us have been magnified by toxic politics, a crumbling public health infrastructure, economic collapse, and racism that has been nurtured and protected by the institutions that make the United States what it is. "If you're on a planet beaten and tortured over and over, there's an inner world we get transported to. Little by little you realize you are building a new world." -Peter Williams
The image above is from Ken Gonzales-Day’s Erased Lynchings series, which documents the historic lynchings of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American individuals across California. The victims in these images have been removed by the artist. The horrific nature of these crimes often makes it difficult to see the apparatus that surrounds the spectacle of the dead body on display. By removing the victim, Gonzales-Day allows us to see what is hiding in plain sight: the white audience gathered for this act of racial terror. The image is a stark reminder of the invisibility of white identity. Whiteness permeates through western society as thoroughly as the air that we all should have the right to breathe. The people in this particular image are not all actively tying a noose, but their mere presence and inaction creates an atmosphere within which such violence is normalized and perpetuated.
Edra Soto spoke with Esthetic Lens recently as part of our Creative Quarantine feature. She brought us into the loop about projects that were put on hold because of quarantine, projects that still moved ahead, the current iteration of her GRAFT piece, and using her Instagram account to advocate for social justice.
Edra Soto’s ongoing 24 Hours project, in which she collects and glorifies discarded liquor bottles, and her GRAFT series, inspired by the iron rejas screens in her native Puerto Rico, have heavily influenced the trajectory of her art career and public interventions. These bottles and iron-wrought kaleidoscopic and geometric formations have graced her home in Garfield Park (where she also co-directs The Franklin, a backyard artist-run project space); the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the Blue Line Western Station; the Chicago Cultural Center and, most recently, Millennium Park, where her first public art commission Screenhouse, will be on view for two years.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit launched its Peter Williams: Black Universe exhibition at the beginning of the year, but it has since become particularly timely. Former Wayne State University instructor Peter Williams employs allegories, historical allusions, and references to his own personal experiences to create colorful and lively abstract works. Black Universe is a commentary on dominant modern culture that addresses social issues, such as discrimination and climate change, making it the ideal learning experience for those of us seeking a fresh or expanded perspective on race and culture in light of recent injustices and unrest.
Venturing to Upstate New York and Western Massachusetts for Upstate Art Weekend Renée Riccardo and I took the train from Grand Central Station to Croton Falls to pick-up a rental car...From there, it was a short drive to the Starlite Motel, where works by Hope Gangloff, Liz Collins, Jeffrey Gibson and others were wonderfully installed around the restored 1960s motor lodge.
This year’s auction will works including paintings, sculptures, photography and more — all donated from artists and galleries both locally and internationally. The auction, hosted on ARTSY.com, will feature approximately 100 works by early career and internationally recognized artists, including Leonardo Drew, June Edmonds, Luchita Hurtado, Jean Lowe, Kim MacConnel, Rubén Ortiz Torres, Trevor Paglen, Helen Pashgian, Ed Ruscha, Marnie Weber, and James Welling.
This spring, Los Angeles-based artist Lia Halloran was to have joined Caltech as artist-in-residence in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences as part of the Caltech-Huntington Program in Visual Culture. COVID-19 upended those plans, and Halloran’s residency has been postponed until the spring of 2021.
The past few months have been busy for Halloran, however, as she has put the finishing touches on a book project she has been working on for more than a decade with Kip Thorne (BS ’62), Caltech’s Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, and one of the recipients of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. The book, The Warped Side of Our Universe, is to be published by W. W. Norton & Company in 2021 and features poetic verse by Thorne alongside paintings by Halloran.
“The art produced by Mexican and Mexican American artists in the U.S. has a long history that continues to reverberate–this echo is a dynamic and necessary narrative that expands traditional interpretations of American art,” said Amy Galpin, Chief Curator at the museum. Artist Hugo Crosthwaite, whose paintings are featured in the exhibit, was born in Tijuana, Mexico and the cultural aesthetics are influenced with his crossing of the border between Mexico and the United States. The subject matter he paints is inspired by the novel A Dream Called Home by Reyna Grande.
"I think you know a lot about how visibility is, you know, begins with representation, begins with images and how the kind of dearth of images of people with disabilities and trans people and people of color existing in public life have kind of invisibilized to us and made our need sort of…underground, concealed, the physical needs for us to exist. Invisibilized representation in the trans community I think has really been front and center and the conversation over the past several years because of the emergence of gender diversity on screen and the counter."
- Zachary Drucker
Peter Williams began three of the paintings illustrated in this book in 2014 after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. He began the rest in 2015 in response to the killing of Eric Garner in New York. Unfortunately, they have lost none of their relevance. The earlier paintings respond to the late work of Philip Guston, whose comment about his turn from abstraction resonated with Williams: “What kind of man am I, sitting at home, getting into a frustrated fury about everything and then going into my studio to adjust a red to a blue?” The paintings are poster-like and rendered in blue, rather than black, and white, with red banners at the top – Guston’s red and blue put to use for political commentary on the murder of black men.
Carla Jay Harris is equally driven by research and materiality, as she builds complex mixed media images and objects on the foundations of painstaking historical deep dives into personal and geopolitical events. Across photography, collage, drawing, and environmental installation, Harris delicately blurs the boundaries of space and time to highlight ancestral rhymes and the follow-on effects of history. Part of her practice involves literal place-making, as she incorporates her juxtapositions of archival and original images with pattern, portrait, and talisman into rooms that ideally function as social gathering points where the conversations sparked in the work can continue in the present.
When I first saw Carla Jay Harris’ project Celestial Bodies at AIPAD (NYC) in 2019 I was spellbound. More than beautiful and graceful, her work was ethereal. Like a bashful vagrant, I conspicuously loitered by the Kopeikin Gallery booth, hoping I would have a chance to meet the artist. Ironically, I learned that she was from my hometown of Los Angeles. Emblematic of her stratospheric talent, it required a transcontinental journey for me to be introduced to someone that was practically my neighbor. Perhaps you really can’t go home again! I chatted online with Carla in June 2020 about her work and process.
As the pandemic tethers us close to home, Calgary-born Erik Olson has unveiled a travelogue three years in the making of his 10,000-mile motorcycle odyssey through the storied places and dysfunctional underbelly of the United States.
Seemingly at an opposite pole from Ruznic’s tenuous phantasmatic visions is the often ferocious, sometimes grotesque pictorial imagination of Peter Williams. He’s an artist that I didn’t discover via social media—though I follow him now on Instagram—but in a more old-fashioned way: I saw a painting of his, earlier this year, reproduced on a book’s cover. The book is a new novel by one of my very favorite writers, Lynn Crawford’s Paula Regossy, but the cover image so fascinated me that I almost had to force myself to move past it to the book’s interior.
For her new online exhibition, “Corps Sonore,” artist Caitlin Cherry sources her subjects through social media. They include “Instagram influencers, glamour models, rappers, and exotic dancers — Black American femmes who play a dominant role in shaping popular culture without due credit.”
The oil paintings and digital collages in Caitlin Cherry’s online show “Corps Sonore” call forth a phantasmagorical nightclub harboring cliques of bionic sirens bathed in an opulent, rippling iridescence. Sourced from social media feeds, Cherry’s reimagined subjects embody a specific ideal of Black femme beauty associated with rappers, exotic dancers, and glamour models—women whose efforts are frequently disparaged, ignored, and, in some instances, even criminalized.
Gonzales-Day’s powerful and nuanced investigations of intersectionality and racial violence stem from an almost-encyclopedic knowledge of art history and a desire to rewrite a more inclusive past and advocate for a more equitable present. The work has a gravitas that is often accentuated by a poetic manipulation of light and form, and exhibits Gonzales-Day’s dexterity in working in a range of modes from performance and installation to projects that are more documentary in nature. What is perhaps most profound about his work is that he invites inquiry and connections, but not without effort from his audience; the more open the viewer, the more the work reveals.
When De Jesus was forced to close in March, he transitioned to an online platform and even managed to make a couple of sales. Given that the gallery was able to reopen for private appointments last month, he’s cautiously optimistic. As a whole, however, the industry has taken a hit: In an Art Dealers Association of America survey of nearly 170 art galleries in April and May, galleries across the country forecasted a gross revenue loss of 73 percent in the second quarter of this year.
More recently, she has produced prismatic paintings from photos of Black femmes (including models, exotic dancers, porn actresses, rappers, and influencers) culled from social media. Inspired by the promotional posts of a Brooklyn cabaret, her newest works feature its servers and dancers in suggestive poses, flattened by delirious patterns and alphanumeric codes onto canvases with widescreen dimensions. Here, the slipperiness of digital images comes up against the slickness of oil paint, which she manipulates into a kind of filter that both obscures and refracts representations of Black femininity. A virtual presentation of Cherry’s new paintings and digital collages, entitled “Corps Sonore,” is currently viewable in the online viewing room of Los Angeles’s Luis De Jesus Los Angeles through August.
The exhibition opens with a rapid, stand-alone animation that displays 19 images at a speed evoking the highway, testing our powers of perception and suggesting that the story of the journey could be told entirely visually, as if by Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov, who avoided scripted narration. The first sets the bike against an expanse of sky and sea near Vancouver, recalling Arthur Rimbaud’s discovery of “eternity” in the sea merged with the sun.
An American painter based in Los Angeles, Edmonds has described her work as a “doorway to memory,” which is evident in the many allusions to longstanding African traditions and influential African Americans from bygone eras...“The bending lines of contrasting colors lead your eye around the painting, and in person, the texture invites a close look,” says Gilvin. “It intrigues me because of the almost dizzying experience of studying it, and because of its conceptual and formal conversations with other artworks.”
Chicago-based artist Edra Soto made a gate studded with viewfinders. They show tiny images she captured in Puerto Rico the day after the hurricane. And another artist has an entire installation open for visitors – it’s a recreated beauty salon that explores the struggle of businesses owned by women on the island. The show was organized by Columbia College’s Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts.
Compelling works intertwine art historical references, allegories, current events, and personal life experiences. In this two-part exhibition, which presents more than two dozen paintings, the artist addresses difficult social issues, such as racial discrimination and climate change, through symbolic imagery, grotesque figures, and vibrant compositions. Now a professor of painting at the University of Delaware, Williams taught for 17 years at Wayne State University in Detroit and was a well-established member of the arts community.
Peter Williams: Black Universe at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. With vibrant palettes and expressive drawing presenting scenes and figures from an off-beat Afrofuturist fantasy, Williams’ paintings have the energy of folk and Outsider style and the pure imagination of science fiction. The world they describe is both a possible reality ahead and a revisitation of ancestral tradition from the past — and ultimately a metaphor for the inner work of reframing identity and consciousness.
Caitlin Cherry: Corps Sonore at Luis De Jesus. An online show that toggles between art, technology, codes, Cherry's Black femmes, & digital graphics that function like visual intermissions.
The Museum of Contemporary Photography has reopened with the exhibit “Temporal: Puerto Rican Resistance,” an exploration of Puerto Rico’s contemporary history documenting protests, life during and after Hurricane María and the art of the resistance. Artists include Christopher Gregory-Rivera, Natalia Lassalle-Morillo, Mari B. Robles López, Eduardo Martínez, Ojos Nebulosos, Adriana Parrilla, Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo, Erika P. Rodríguez, Edra Soto, SUPAKID, and Rogelio Báez Vega
This exhibition is concurrent with William’s solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). His extremely colorful and attention-grabbing paintings combine abstract and figurative elements. The gallery’s press release described them as, “seductive paintings intertwining art historical references…. with current events and personal life experiences.” After briefly seeing his cartoonish characters on my computer screen, I couldn’t seem to get them out of my head. It was like a straight shot of Vodka. It’s no surprise that Williams refers to color as his, “gateway drug” that entices the viewer to engage with his paintings.
During the Obama administration, while addressing the proposed legislation of North Carolina to bar trans students from restrooms that correlated with their gender presentation, then attorney general Loretta Lynch said to transgender Americans, “We see you, we stand with you, and we will do everything we can to protect you going forward.” It was an incredible moment historically because trans people had never been spoken to so publicly. To have a person from the president’s cabinet speak directly to a community that had been ignored and silenced was such a powerful paradigm shift and validation. —Zackary Drucker
Over Independence Day Weekend, 80 artists [including Ken Gonzales-Day and Zackary Drucker] asked Americans to look up at the skies. Throughout July 3 and 4, messages related to immigration were written at 10,000 feet by World War II military planes, sky-typed over 80 sites related to the country's network of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities, immigration courts, and the southern border. The idea was to bring attention to these facilities, which may not be familiar to many Americans.
The purpose of the temporary works was to raise awareness about social injustice rampant in the US’s immigration system and where these injustices are carried out. Over the weekend, XMAP: In Plain Sight uplifted the children and adults who have suffered from inhuman living conditions, the separation of detained families, violence, and, in some cases, death at the hands of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE.
Originally scheduled to open in March, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles’s second solo show with artist Peter Williams is now opening at last. The show will run concurrent to Williams’s solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and the art space Trinosophes. In this exhibition, Williams “tells an Afrofuturist tale of a brown-skinned race that escapes to outer space in search of new planet homes and an end to the cycles of oppression from which they have been subjected.”
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce Peter Williams: Black Universe, the artist's second solo exhibition with the Gallery, on view from July 9 through October 10, 2020. This exhibition* is held concurrent to, and is an extension of, his solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and the alternative space Trinosophes.
A group of 80 artists from around the country have teamed up to produce skytyped messages that will appear over immigrant detention camps around the United States, as well as other sites related to internment and incarceration. Among the participating artists of “In Plain Sight” are Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors; graphic designer Emory Douglas, once the minister of culture for the Black Panther Party; and a range of cultural practitioners, including Ken Gonzales-Day, Harry Gamboa Jr., Mary Kelly...
Two fleets of five skytyping planes each are set for takeoff across the country this Independence Day weekend armed with calls for the abolition of the immigrant detention in the United States as part of the project “In Plain Sight.” (Developed from older skywriting technology, skytyping planes inject oil into their exhaust systems to produce a white smoke that is released into the sky by a computer-controlled system to produce precise letter-writing.) Phrases like “Care Not Cages,” “Unseen Mothers” and “Nosotras Te Vemos (We See You)” will momentarily hover above 80 locations — including detention facilities, immigration courts, prisons, borders and historic sites like Ellis Island — before dissipating into the atmosphere.
Chicago-based, Puerto Rican interdisciplinary artist Edra Soto’s work is about bringing people together. Through sharing experiences and questioning histories, Soto invites us to reimagine and meet between worlds. The way one feels around Soto’s work is something quite special, that very same feeling of community gets activated through her work by incorporating food, elements of memory and place such as tiny viewfinders, while also creating spaces for joy.
For Luis De Jesus of the eponymous gallery on South La Cienega Boulevard, moving online has been an expansion rather than a limitation. When lockdown began, his staff was already redesigning the gallery’s website, so they added an “online viewing room.” “It’s like the second gallery that we don’t have,” De Jesus said, “It functions like an alternative space, a project space, and that to me is very exciting.”
There is a profound stillness in Carla Jay Harris’ photographs—her framing and shooting style emits a pervasive calm that quiets the anxiety of her subject matter. Harris’ ability to create silence amid moments of emotional upheaval is eerie, tense, and evocative. Two bodies of work portray people and places in the midst of economic and cultural change; Dirt, Dust, Sand, Concrete (2012–2015) shows Smithfield, Virginia, amid a corporate buyout, and Culture of Desperation (2012) portrays a struggling record company during lean times.
Some of the most alluring art shows happening virtually this season. Chris Engman: Looking at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. Ongoing at viewingroom.luisdejesus.com
"So, I think about Peter’s paintings. I think about their fundamental contradiction. They are an exquisite gutting. He paints, with reverence, the eviscerated body of monumental oppression. His artistic kin include Grünewald, Kahlo, Salcedo and Marshall. I think about what Peter refuses us—illusion and comfort. And I think and about what he gives us—empathy, and a deep love for painting..."
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles gives us a chance to be amused and fooled by Chris Engman’s photographs, that give you a sensation that what you see is three-dimensional paper sculptures. But no, my friends, don’t trust your eyes. Come close, and “touch” these framed photos with your eyes, and discover to your astonishment that you have been magically tricked.
The California African American Museum (CAAM) presents recently acquired works in its exhibition called Sanctuary. The exhibition focuses on safety and refuge in relation to the African American experience. One piece in the exhibit is from Carla Jay Harris, which pictures a female figure in a celestial landscape. She explains, “I’ve had a bit of a nomadic life…Through my life, I seek to connect with permanence. Safe space and making time for self-care is essential to your own mental health and wellness.”
"Making things allows one to be a member of a group: of ideas, forms, awareness, sensitivities, none of which is ever in isolation. You can always feel the spirit of those fleeting thoughts and mega-disciplines which keep you in focus and feeling alive while having an exploration in paint. I have discussions with myself; I become the Other."
In this Episode I feature June Edmonds, a west coast based abstract painter that was awarded the AWARE prize during the 2020 Armory show in NYC. AWARE, an acronym for Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions, is a Paris based non profit that this year debuted an award for a Solo Exhibition of Work by a Woman Artist. June’s work was exhibited by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
Artist Peter Williams created The Death of George Floyd, a 48-inch-by-60-inch oil on canvas in response to Floyd’s Memorial Day death, which has invigorated civil disobedience by drawing attention to centuries of institutionalized racism. “My work has always had a political ethos, it comes out of my self-awareness as a black American. This work is a compendium of modernist form and the politics of right now. I had been working, shifting the work toward a more abstract base. I had always been a figurative narrative painter,” said Williams.
Artist Ken Gonzales-Day has been widely recognized for the “Erased Lynching” series, which include lynching postcard photos that effectively “erased’ the victims of lynching and focused on the white crowds gathered to witness the murders. Gonzales-Day argues that the erasure of the lynching victim “allows the viewer to see, for the first time, the social dynamics of the lynching itself.” The photos, absent of the images of victims, “helped us to recognise the dynamics of whiteness within the complex history of racialised violence in America,”
Searching for California’s Hang Trees, grew out of the research artist Ken Gonzales-Daywas doing for his book Lynching in the West: 1850-1935, published by Duke University Press in 2006. In it, Gonzales-Day sets out to assemble the most complete record of lynching in California that had yet been published. What his research uncovered, was that contrary to popular belief, African Americans were not the only targets of lynching in California and the west. In fact, Gonzales-Day was also able to document the lynching of Latinos, Native Americans, and Chinese immigrants, at least in part due to their racial identity. In doing so, Gonzales-Day has revealed a history of violence against immigrants in the west that still goes on today, with mass incarceration and family separation taking place at our borders.
You know what actually, was our very first collaboration? The ‘I Love Chicago Project.’ From when I was in my MFA studio at SAIC. It was an installation to bring together all types of disciplines—sound, performance, musicians. A lion, and a lion tamer. Even then, I was drawn toward leading a project space. I had a fascination with crossing the boundaries.
The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) announced on Thursday that it plans to launch a new digital art fair to support member galleries who have been impacted by Covid-19. Titled “FAIR,” the online initiative will boast of a profit-sharing model designed to give participants who have recently experienced revenue loss due to the closure of their physical locations a financial boost. Kicking off next week, FAIR will run from May 20 through June 21.
Galleryplatform.la launches May 15, featuring online viewing rooms for small and blue-chip galleries, video profiles of artists, and a column on the history of LA galleries — all to help galleries stay afloat. Luis De Jesus also added that “this period has been a welcome respite from the hectic, nonstop schedule of back-to-back gallery shows and art fairs. It’s given me time to think about the business — what’s working and what isn’t.”
Greetings from the timeless void of quarantine, where we all feel like astronauts who have been in space just a little too long. I’m Carolina A. Miranda, staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, with your essential guide to all things arts — and operatic krumping. On Instagram, I’ve been very much enjoying Hugo Crosthwaite’s stop motion animations of his quarantine drawings.
Within figuration, the materiality of oil paint has been bound to its relationship to the depiction of skin. Velasquez went so far as to say that if not for skin, oil painting wouldn’t exist. ...This obsession with material skin seems to have lost its privileged position due in no small part to how incredibly realized it’s been within the traditions of western art history. There is a completeness to Freud’s Benefits Supervisor Sleeping (1995) and Saville’s surgical portraits that followed, that have made contemporary artists disregard flesh, instead pursuing a frontier that investigates the body as one that is weightless, boneless, hollow, thin, and digital- phantom bodies.
Since 2017, The Universe in Verse has been celebrating the natural world — the science, the splendor, the mystery of it — through poetry, that lovely backdoor to consciousness, bypassing our habitual barricades of thought and feeling to reveal reality afresh. And now here we are — “survivors of immeasurable events,” in the words of the astronomer and poet Rebecca Elson, “small, wet miracles without instruction, only the imperative of change” — suddenly scattered six feet apart across a changed world, blinking with disorientation, disbelief, and no small measure of heartache.
Federico Solmi (Italy, 1973) currently lives and works in New York. Solmi’s work utilizes bright colors and a satirical aesthetic to portray a dystopian vision of our present-day society His exhibitions often feature articulate installations composed of a variety of media including video, painting, drawing, and sculpture. Solmi uses his art as a vehicle to stimulate a visceral conversation with his audience, highlighting the contradictions and fallibility that characterize our time. Through his work, Solmi examines unconscious human impulses and desires in order to critique Western society’s obsession with individual success and display contemporary relationships between nationalism, colonialism, religion, consumerism.
I expect to see a post-epidemic rising of physical modifications made to existing public spaces and new spaces designed with public distancing considerations in mind. Perhaps these changes manifest more through policy rather than physically, but maybe we will see a combination of both. Most of my work is motivated by a public approach to design a space or an activation. This is something I’m hoping I don’t have to give up in the future, but I wouldn't be surprised by future changes.
J'ai rendez-vous avec Nicolas Grenier dans so atelier de l'îlot Bellechasse. Ce n'est pas la première fois que j'y recontre des artistes, mais il se pourrait bien que ce soit la dernière... / I have an appointment with Nicolas Grenier in his workshop on the Bellechasse block. It is not the first time that I meet artists there, but it may well be the last ...
There’s a challenging tension to his work in the way he conflates entertainment and celebrity and power and authority,” says Bleu Cease, RoCo’s executive director and curator. “And there is a push-pull … It’s attractive, but once it draws you in, it’s grotesque and maybe even repelling. Things are on the verge of breaking down and there’s a sense of impending doom.
How are you overcoming the challenges we are now facing?
Like many other galleries, we are looking for ways to stay present and relevant. We recently launched our new website and we’re in the process of adding a new page that will pull together all of our artist’s video and film projects as well as links to other feeds and impromptu and intuitive content. We’re in production mode—a good thing.
Art galleries provide necessary spaces for creative discovery and connection—experiences we all may be seeking in our current existences. Luckily, many galleries across the country can still be visited virtually, and at your work-from-home leisure through Artnet Galleries.
If you’re in need of an art break, here are 13 of our favorite exhibitions, from New York to California, that you can gallery hop through your laptop.
The $10,000 Aware Prize for solo presentation by women artists was awarded to June Edmonds, whose politically charged paintings were represented at the fair by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
Tezeno’s work consists of collages with cubist influences. Her bold use of color, texture and shape are the core of her collages. Inspired by the images that she sees in her sleep, Evita translates these visions through mixed media, combining handmade paper, acrylic paint and found objects. Pulling from experiences and children’s stories, she creates whimsical images that provoke laughter and thought to help enrich the soul.
“Citizenship acknowledges the political power of images,” [curator Georgia Erger] said, “and the power that comes from the fact that photos, and graphics and ultimately video and film can be so widely and easily disseminated, and therefore, much more accessible.” The works of art include 20th-century photographs by Leonard Freed, a series of etchings by Francisco de Goya, and engravings by William Hogarth, along with “Erased Lynchings,” which Mr. Gonzales-Day produced from 2006 to 2019. Based on actual postcards, and his visits to where lynchings took place, Mr. Gonzales-Day’s work shows crowds gathered at places across America, such as California and Montana, to watch the hangings.
Drucker of Los Angeles explores the novel’s themes of gender and time as part of her photo series “Rosalyne,” which show trans elder and activist Rosalyne Blumenstein in a variety of poses that evoke some of the classical imagery of the novel as well as the blending of time periods. A photo of a nude Blumenstein mimicking the pose of a nearby Venus de Milo also manages to recall the aesthetic of Potter’s film.“Rosalyne is a legend in the trans community,” says Drucker, who lives in Los Angeles. “The photos came about because I felt she was the perfect living Orlando, she was traveling through time and crossing genders.”
June Edmonds’ dark, seemingly abstract paintings at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles (Booth 827, Pier 94) are actually based on flags and their palettes are derived from a spectrum of black and brown skin complexions.
Additionally, the inaugural edition of the $10,000 Aware Prize for solo presentations by women artists—presented by the Paris-based nonprofit AWARE (Archives of Women Artists, Research, and Exhibitions) in partnership with the Armory Show—was given to June Edmonds, whose work at the fair is presented by the Los Angeles-based gallery Luis De Jesus. Edmonds is known for abstract paintings that explore race, gender, and politics, and the prize was juried by a cast including AWARE co-founder Camille Morineau, writer and curatorial activist Maura Reilly, and Swiss Institute director Simon Castets, among others.
June Edmonds’s Flag Paintings explore the American flag as a symbol of ideals, promises, and identity. Each flag is associated with the narrative of an African American, past or present. Edmonds explores the psychological construct of skin color, utilizing the primary colors of brown skin tones to build symbols of American identity that reflect the broader changes in the racial and ethnic makeup of the country's population and the ideals and promises enshrined in the Constitution.
This week we made our way to Luis De Jesus’ opening of Britton Tolliver’s Bend To Play and Ethan Gill’s, New Paintings. Upon walking into the gallery, we were met by the boldly colored geometric abstract paintings by Tolliver. The vibrant works featured thick layers of smoothly applied paint the resulting decisive forms suggestive of decadent topographical psychedelic maps. The satisfying hardy spreads of acrylic paint resulted in the paintings existing more as sculptures and exemplified the physicality of Tolliver’s practice, which requires pushing paint through sieve-like grids.
The first-ever winner of the Armory Show's AWARE Prize is artist June Edmonds. The $10,000 juried prize was given for the excellence of the artist’s work and for the Luis de Jesus Los Angeles gallery’s courage to present a solo-female artist’s work in a market that has systematically undervalued art made by women. The prize's short list of five finalists also included Rina Banerjee, Yuko Nasaka, Aase Texmon Rygh and Alexis Smith. AWARE co-founder Camille Morineau said, “Edmonds was unanimously selected by the jurors, who coalesced around the discovery of her new Flag Paintings—a breakthrough body of never-before seen work by the artist presented by Luis de Jesus Los Angeles at this year’s Armory Show.”
CBC Listens IDEAS with Nahlah Ayed interviews the four 2019 Sobey Art Awards Finalists across two episodes, "The New Masters: Sobey Art Awards: Part 1 & 2." Nicolas Grenier discusses his practice and two projects, The Time of Work and Vertically Integrated Socialism.
Peter Williams doesn’t make things easy for the viewer, and why should he? Peter Williams is a painter who paints both abstractly and figuratively, with a jaunty, cake frosting palette as the main connection between the two approaches. I first saw his work in the 2002 Whitney Biennial (March 7–May 26, 2002), curated by Lawrence R. Rinder, Chrissie Iles, Christian Paul, and Debra Singer.
If comedy equals tragedy plus time, artist Peter Williams is defying the mathematics of the aphorism in his newest paintings. In his works, Williams compresses time and expands painterly space to extract a subversive sense of humor from acts of violence and oppression, even in the midst of their perpetuation. “Peter Williams: Incarceration,” a show of his work on view at the Cressman Center, tackles themes of black incarceration — both historical and contemporary — through paintings that sing with exuberant form and hyperbolic color. The overall effect is, by turns, shocking, joyful and unnerving.
Highlights that both flaunt the space’s architectural potential and honor the integrity of the artwork include Edra Soto’s Open 24 Hours (2017). Her pristine white vitrines house polished liquor bottles found on her daily walks in Chicago’s Garfield Park, challenging notions of “detritus” and making an industrial room devoid of natural light shine.
On her walks through Garfield Park, Edra Soto noticed how the streets became a "24/7 living history of a place," always collecting waste on display for all to see. Inspired by the high number of liquor bottles, she began taking them home, removing their labels and photographing them. One man's trash is another woman's art. We circled around the display of bottles a few times.For something to go from trash on the street to being cleaned up and used in art, that's a sort of rebirth in itself, right? The kind of rebirth only an artist with imagination can bring about.
We came across an installation from Puerto Rican Edra Soto. It's called Open 24 Hours and looks like different stands with several polished glass bottles inside, some clear, some green. And the art has a creative story to go with it: On her walks through Garfield Park, Edra Soto noticed how the streets became a "24/7 living history of a place," always collecting waste on display for all to see. Inspired by the high number of liquor bottles, she began taking them home, removing their labels and photographing them. One man's trash is another woman's art.
As the kick off to the 2020 edition of the Armory Show edges closer and closer, the fair has announced a new art prize to add to its list of juried awards. The AWARE Prize, which will be presented for the first time this March, will deliver a $10,000 prize to one deserving female artist, or the artist’s estate, whose works will be exhibited in a solo presentation in the Galleries section of the Armory Show.
Perspective is constantly shifting, from Lia Halloran’s cyanotype of The Great Comet, 2019, trailing clouds of glory, to the spider who does an unscripted walk-on in Christopher Richmond’s looped video of a rotating asteroid, Viewing Stone, 2018. The spider remminds the viewer how ultimately small we, and spiders, are in the cosmic view of things.
Hugo Crosthwaite, the 2019 first place winner was recognized for a stop-motion animated drawing. “A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez” (2018) depicts a young woman from Tijuana and explores her pursuit of the American dream. The animated video project is part of a series based on oral histories Crosthwaite has gathered at the U.S.-Mexico border.
A personal telescope belonging to astronomer George Ellery Hale, developed in 1885 that afforded a precise view of the night sky representing a leap in astronomical technology, is adjacent to Lia Halloran’s The Great Comet, 2019, a monumental cyanotype suggesting the marvels of astronomical phenomena that might have been experienced by pre-technological peoples
The artists shortlisted for the prize, funded by French nonprofit AWARE, are Yuko Nasaka, Rina Banerjee, Aase Texmon Rygh, Alexis Smith, and June Edmonds. The perception that art made by women is less valuable is one that the French nonprofit Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions (AWARE) seeks to correct. For the 2020 Armory Show, the international art fair held every year in New York City, AWARE will recognize a solo booth of a woman artist by a gallery at the fair with a $10,000 award to either a living artist or her estate.
Lewis & Clark College's Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery will host Making a Better Painting. The regional exhibition showcases the work of 18 artists from around the Pacific Northwest who seek to spark conversations about paintings from a practitioner's point of view. Each of the artists address at least one of the four exhibition themes in their work: painting in the expanded field, painting and politics, painting in the Anthropocene and painting after technology.
Drawing its title from my Pulitzer Prize-nominated book of the same name, Lynchings in the West: 1850-1935, this series considers the transracial nature of lynching in California, from statehood to the last recorded lynchings in 1935, as well as other western states and territories outside the historically better-known Southern black lynching areas. Given the broad number of people touched by this history (Asians, Anglos, Blacks and American Indians), many will be suprised to learn that Latinos (Mexican, Mexican- American, and persons of Latin American descent) were statistically more likely to die of lynching than those of African, Asian or European descent.
Artist Lia Halloran has skateboarded through runoff drains in pitch darkness, piloted a plane solo over Los Angeles and navigated dense theories of interstellar wormholes.Her diverse studio practices simply follow her personal curiosities, which she said often land her in interdisciplinary spaces where she can warp and manipulate concepts of space and time.The alumna most recently experimented with spatial distortion through an audio-visual installation called “Lia Halloran: Double Horizon,” on display at the ArtCenter College of Design’s Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery until March 15.
Sometimes a sausage is just a sausage, but not in Miyoshi Barosh’s archly adorable world. Her kielbasa-shaped glass sculpture, Untitled (Sausage) from 2015, gleams suggestively from a vitrine at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. In case you doubt its Freudian implications, its cellmates are a penis and a pair of breasts, also made of glass, both trussed with twine as if ready for the oven. The vitrine’s fourth occupant, Untitled (Meat), is a smooth hunk of reddish-brown glass, tied up like a small ham. Equating body parts with meat is nothing new, but these works put a sharper point on Barosh’s more prominent work in textiles, which tends to be exuberantly domestic and slightly macabre.
In the early 2000s Los Angeles-based artist Miyoshi Barosh started making large-scale textile sculptures that combined the intimacy of craft with the bold, irreverence of Pop. Though vibrantly colorful and often playfully ironic, a dystopian sense of decay and death characterized these pieces. After the artist’s untimely death last year, the artworks have taken on new poignancy; they’re spirited, contradictory, and full of mischief and the carnivalesque madness of contemporary life.
Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC) returns to Hollywood for its international art fair producing a dynamic and informed cross-section of international contemporary art. The massive exhibition will feature 50 artists at the historic Hollywood Athletic Club on Sunset Boulevard utilizing the ballroom, bars and athletic spaces of the once celebrity hot spot.
Carla Jay Harris’ series, Celestial Bodies, does not entirely eliminate facial features in the work, but the features of these powerful women are not the focus either. Rather, Harris creates regal, spiritual images that combine a range of mediums. She terms them a link between the mythological and the real; travels as a child in a military family, and a sense of rootlessness, of being an outsider attracted her to the inclusiveness of legend.
Lia Halloran, Double Horizon, at Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery. To create large-scale filmic views of Los Angeles, Halloran takes to the air, mounting four cameras to an airplane that she piloted during more than 30 flights. She has put the footage together into an immersive, three-screen projection that is accompanied by a score created by Allyson Newman. Runs through March 15. ArtCenter South Campus, 1111 S. Arroyo Pkwy., Pasadena
A painter, photographer, and science enthusiast, Lia Halloran fuses together artistic creativity with a splash of scientific elements into her works. As an investigative explorer of space in its physical, psychological, and scientific forms, Lia uses these concepts as a major point to begin her creations; art allows her to express various concepts in science and gives her an outlet to explore many different themes that relate to humans, such as our place in the world, both psychologically and emotionally.
For the past four years, Margie Livingston has been dismantling the line between painting and performance. In a hybrid form of Action Painting, performance, and Land Art, she drags constructed paintings across terrain, inscribing the canvases with the ground to what she calls Extreme Landscape Painting or “non-painting painting.” Inherent in this process is the use of chance procedures and the knowledge that the ideas change and evolve as she gets into the work.
Three local galleries are honoring the groundbreaking artist and L.A. native with simultaneous exhibits: Before she succumbed to uterine cancer last February at age 59, artist Miyoshi Barosh spent the better part of three decades cultivating an art practice that was compassionate yet contrarian, conceptual yet craft-made, and Pop yet profoundly personal.
Throughout L.A., three galleries have teamed up to honor artist Miyoshi Barosh, who passed away last year. Barosh’s fiber-based work is exuberant and joyful. LOVE!, one proclaims, next to a giant oversized yarn tassel. At Night Gallery, a collection of pink oversized and fabric cartoon legs called Large Legs spew off the wall. At Luis De Jesus, I ♥ Kitties is a photograph of a cat’s head, embellished with embroidered patches. While this all might sound saccharine, Barosh’s work intentionally tugs our heartstrings to get at larger messages of consumerism, ecological failure, and social control. By using techniques associated with “woman’s work” and a cutesy aesthetic, Barosh slyly pokes at our associations with each, while uncovering a rawer, more unnerving element underneath.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles announced the opening of two new galleries, “The Earth is a Brush” and “Love,” on Saturday, Jan. 11.
Margie Livingston’s “The Earth is a Brush,” the artist’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery, will be on view through Feb. 15. Miyoshi Barosh’s “Love,” the late artist’s third solo show with the gallery, will also be on view through Feb. 15. Her work combines humor and dystopian irony in a style she dubbed “conceptual pop.”
While researching Latino portraiture from the 1800s, the photographer Ken Gonzales-Day found an image of a young Latino man. "Last man hanged in Los Angeles," was written on the back. When he read that phrase, Gonzales-Day came to the conclusion that he didn't have a clear understanding of California history. To make sense of his discovery, he began to work on the series of photographs that's now known as "Erased Lynching" (2006). The Santa Clara University Art Department's exhibit "Ken Gonzales-Day" features several of his photographs from the collection.
Santa Clara University (SCU), a flag bearer in an ongoing crusade for social justice, regularly raises awareness of social issues through the arts. A free exhibition of 25 Erased Lynching and California Hang Tree photos by Los Angeles-based artist Ken Gonzales-Day is on view through Jan. 24 in the Gallery of the Art and Art History building.
“Ken Gonzales-Day is an artist who makes work as an act of compassion,” said exhibition curator Renee Billingslea, a senior lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History.
ZACKARY DRUCKER: I think all of us in the community have had those moments of being like, “Is this going to somehow alienate people who aren’t ready yet?”
SUSAN STRYKER: Why is it that trans issues have become like a front-and-center issue in the culture wars?
ZACKARY DRUCKER: I think capitalizing on people’s fear is what has landed us in this moment right now, and you have hope on one side and fear on the other.
Carla Jay Harris’s work investigates how physical space influences psychological space. Through photographs, composites, sculptures and built environments, Harris explores the interaction of the interior with the exterior, of home with the outside world, of image and meaning. A 2015 graduate of UCLA’s MFA program, where she studied with Catherine Opie and James Welling among other artists, Harris exhibited her work this fall at Sonce Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles.
So I went to The Female Lens expecting a counter-attack, an alternative narrative of reproof. Did I find one? I didn’t discern such a narrative but what I did find was like a well-mixed box of chocolates, a selection of images, differing greatly, both in content and approach. Some were provocative, with a twist, such as Zackary Drucker’s shot of a slender honey-blonde lying on her back on a cement floor, apparently in a basement - there are household appliances and paper bags of stuff around - and she is seemingly naked beneath a plastic apron. Broad silver tape has shut her mouth but her eyes are open and unafraid.
Yale School of Art faculty member and alumna Sarah Oppenheimer ’99 ART, along with some former faculty members and alumni, are featured in the current Artspace exhibition “Strange Loops,” on view through the end of February. The group exhibition explores psychological affect and the human condition expressed through instruments, systems, and objects of human design.
Hugo Crosthwaite's La Güera, 2018, is featured in the "Readings" section of Harper's Magazine in print in January 2020.
...The selection includes far more photographs and videos than paintings and drawings, although some entries blur those categories. The top prize went to Hugo Crosthwaite for a series of black-and-white drawings, animated into a video, of Berenice Sarmiento Chavez. She is a young Mexican woman who ventured north across the border in search of the American Dream, but has since been deported. The artist encountered her in Tijuana. As winner of the top prize, Crosthwaite will be commissioned to do an official portrait. The 2016 winner, Amy Sherald, made a painting of Michelle Obama that became one of the gallery’s most popular attractions.
I have never before seen an artist who can sidle right up to Goya’s Caprichos or Desastres de La Guerra and not only survive the comparison but generate mutual enrichment. Hugo Crosthwaite’s TIJUAS! (Death March, Tijuana Bibles, and Other Legends) at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles presents a breathtaking collection of drawings ranging from small to mural-size, as well as video animations and books, all made over a period of over a decade. Crosthwaite’s work addresses life on both sides of the US–Mexican border where he conveys the feeling of life bottled up beneath a merciless cork, his observations packed with violence, tenderness, pain, boredom, and his mind-boggling draftsmanship. —Daniel Gerwin
Ken Gonzalez-Day’s images from the series Erased Lynchings sees the artist digitally remove the dead hanging body of a nameless murdered person of colour, in order to avoid re-victimising the individual. This places our attention on the real guilty subjects, those white people who take it upon themselves extrajudicially to police black and brown bodies. The black body is here removed from the gaze of white eyes, a form of sight which undergirds the social dominance of whiteness. Gonzales-Day writes: “The work asks viewers to consider the crowd, the spectacle, the role of the photographer, and even the impact of flash photography, and their various contributions to our understanding of racialized violence in this nation.”
Ultimately, spending time with artists is what truly “floats her boat.” Currently, she is working with her dear friend and renowned artist Antonia Wright on a project called “WWWW - Suffer in Style” that will be the next ARTSail residency. The two plan to produce a luxury chain of accessories inspired by environmental causes in an effort to make climate change more stylish. “It is about talking about dark issues with irony and humor,” she says, “while making it all — art, fashion, etc. — as accessible as Mother Nature.”
From December 5–8, the 17th annual NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) art fair took place at Ice Palace Studios, focused on supporting new voices in the contemporary art community. Fairgoers were also treated to solo showings of artists like Agnieszka Brzezanska (BWA Warszawa), Guadalupe Maravilla (Jack Barrett), Ariana Papademetropoulos (Soft Opening), Aaron Gilbert (Lulu), and Peter Williams (Luis De Jesus Los Angeles).
Positioned at entrance to UNTITLED, overlooking the South Beach is Ruben Millares and Antonia Wright’s It’s not down on any map; true places never are (presented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles), a motorized public sculpture made out of flagpoles, chains, a steel platform, and 16 flags of countries currently involved in migration crises, such as Venezuela, United States, South Sudan, Myanmar, Turkey, Germany, and Mexico. Rotating in a steady half loop, the chain structure moves the flags up and down, creating a metallic machinery noise as the flags ascend, squeeze through the chains, and rise again. Flags which have traditionally been placed on high ends of dwarfing poles are upside down, crumbled, and eventually risen, in a system that recalls the instability and interchangeability of sociopolitical power and nationalistic ideologies.
The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., named Hugo Crosthwaite the 2019 winner of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, an astute selection for several reasons. Crosthwaite’s entry, a meditative, three-minute stop-motion animation about a woman migrating from Mexico to the United States, stretched the conventional bounds of portraiture and affirmed the genre’s relevance, both of which are aims of the prize. Over nearly two decades, Crosthwaite has applied portraiture’s concentrated attention not only to individuals but even more avidly to place.
Double Horizon reflects the artist’s ongoing investigations of the body’s relationship to space in three simultaneous, large-scale, aerial views of the greater Los Angeles landscape. Double Horizon is Lia Halloran’s most recent work in her ongoing investigations into the physical, psychological and scientific explorations of space.
Don’t miss: The greenspace of Lummus Park has been commandeered for public art displays under the auspices of the fair, all of them large-scale works—look for the kinetic sculpture from Miami-based artists Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares. Make sure, too, that you pick up a copy of Untitled News—or whatever writer-in-residence Osman Can Yerebakan chooses to call the daily dispatch he’s been tasked with producing about the fair and its fairgoers.
The Baltimore Museum of Art has announced that it will dedicate the next year to women artists, most notably by spending its entire acquisitions budget for the year on works of art by women, as part of its 2020 Vision campaign. The museum’s permanent collection contains over 95,000 pieces of art, but only about 4% of those pieces were created by women. Next year’s initiative is meant to help rectify that imbalance. “You don’t just purchase one painting by a female artist of color and hang it on the wall next to a painting by Mark Rothko...To rectify centuries of imbalance, you have to do something radical.”
It’s an exciting year for UNTITLED Miami Beach, the fair situated on Ocean Drive and 12th Street that’s celebrated for being highly curated, architecturally mindful, and pleasant to navigate. The 2019 edition launches Monuments, a new program of large-scale, site-specific installations such as It is not down on any map; true places never are (2019). This kinetic outdoor sculpture by collaborative artists Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares, presented by Luis De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles, consists of a group of flags sliding up and down on a flagpole in an allegory of complicated global hierarchies.
NADA, December 5–8: With representation from 25 countries and 56 cities, the 17th annual NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) art fair will take place at Ice Palace Studios, putting a focus on supporting new voices in the contemporary art community. Joined by 136 presenters this year, the fair will feature 71 NADA member galleries and will also include 28 first-time exhibitors.
Fairgoers can expect to see solo showings of artists like Agnieszka Brzezanska (BWA Warszawa), Guadalupe Maravilla (Jack Barrett), Ariana Papademetropoulos (Soft Opening), Aaron Gilbert (Lulu), and Peter Williams (Luis De Jesus Los Angeles)...
Vibrant and joyful with eye-popping colors and textures, Thread at the Long Beach Museum of Art pushes the boundaries of textile art. Selected works range from modern to contemporary and display the ability to use thread to create narratives, sculpture and political comment.
Laura Krifka's The Game of Patience at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is at its core about seduction, built through scenarios of being seduced, and how the artist constructs each painting to both seduce, and, by revealing subtle (metaphorical) cracks in the foundation. The interview covers topics such as: playing with repulsion; the frank reactions Krifka’s received from more non-Art World audiences about being a ‘weird lady’ for the things she paints; her process of working with models, and more...
The Baltimore Museum of Art will celebrate 2020 by adopting a daring new policy designed to reverse the art world’s historic marginalization of female artists. Museum director Christopher Bedford said Thursday that every artwork the BMA purchases for its permanent collection next year — every painting, every sculpture, every ceramic figurine — will have been created by a woman. In addition, each of the 22 exhibits on view will have a female-centric focus. Nineteen will showcase artworks exclusively by women and will include works by at least one transgender woman, Zackary Drucker...
Evita Tezeno seeks the pleasures of life through the eyes of visual expression. Her exuberant passion for life leads her to explore the human experiences related to her childhood memories and life’s encounters. Using bright colors soft hues, and bold figures, Tezeno crafted visual stories, by the use of hand made papers, crayons and other mediums, that evoke smiles, joy and thoughts of yesteryears.”
The title of this year’s winning work, by Hugo Crosthwaite, tells us the name of the person represented in the artist’s three-minute stop-motion animation of black-and-white drawings. It is A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez, a young woman from Tijuana, Mexico, who is seeking a better life in the United States. Her face emerges from a blank space, like a piece of paper or canvas, and then we watch as her body is sketched in, as though she’s materialized from nothing. In a series of brief vignettes, we learn about the danger that she, like other migrants, has faced, including violence and sexual harassment.
The new exhibition at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles by Mexican-American artist Hugo Crosthwaite (b. 1971) grabs your attention the moment you walk into the gallery. The artist, who lives and works in San Diego and Rosarito, Mexico, created a monumental, 27-foot wide multi-panel work called Death March. Multiple human figures and skeletons compose a funeral march, appearing to honor the deceased in a manner that calls to mind Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead.
The collective work resulted in a “bright, “vibrant,” “rhythmic” and richly layered project that references, among other things, jazz, the Inglewood-raised saxophonist Kamasi Washington, the late rapper and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle, and low-rider car culture. Though it’s been 20 years since Hatton moved to L.A., the city is still revealing itself. When he embarked on the Crenshaw/LAX project, his impressions and understanding of the city shifted.
For painter and video artist Hugo Crosthwaite, life has unfolded in equal parts on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and he has come to understand that in a way the border region itself is its own nation, with a unique culture that is both blended and divided, and a population comfortable with dualities. Both his films and graphite and ink drawings on canvas—often at monumental scale—exist in a black-and-white palette and are rich with regal, stylized detail.
The painter is showing a new series of drawings, panel paintings and animations that chart the ebb and flow of humanity, along with unseen magical phenomena, in the U.S.-Mexico-border region where he lives and works. (The artist divides his time between Rosarito and San Diego.) Crosthwaite, a painter whose work is as influenced by comic books as it is by Gustav Doré, recentlywon the top prize in the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwi Boocheyer Portrait Competion, pays tributes to Goya’s Caprichos. A recent series capturing grotesqueries and folly.
Los Angeles-based painter, Edie Beaucage, crisply deploys multi-hued brushstrokesto set off characters in color field drama and fantastical spaces. Edie received her Masters of Fine Arts at Otis College of Art and Design in 2010. Her work has been exhibited at the UNTITLED art fair and is part of the Creative Artists Agency Collection. She is represented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
Los Angeles artist Lia Halloran wants to touch the heavens and to celebrate women who had the same ambition long before her. Her The Same Sky Overarches Us All, at the University of Maryland Art Gallery, mostly consists of seven-foot-high vertical prints inspired by a group of women known as the Harvard Computers. Halloran weaves their story, along with her own and the universe’s, into cosmic vignettes.
The video begins with the sound of a guitar strumming and a voice singing in Spanish. The main character is sketched quickly, beginning with her eyes, then face, hair and shoulders. She gazes into the distance. Over the course of the three-minute stop-motion drawing animation video, we watch as the main character goes about her life, immigrating to the United States and trying to succeed in her new country.
The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, has announced the winner of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, a triannual contest honoring artists that “challenge the definition of portraiture.” Hugo Crosthwaite, a San Diego-based artist, will take home the $25,000 prize, which also comes with a commission to create a new portrait for the museum’s permanent collection.Crosthwaite follows in the footsteps of now-veritable art star Amy Sherald, who won the last Boochever award in 2016.
Portraiture is due for a reframing. Although the art form has traditionally served to memorialize the affluent and the powerful, the finalists of the 2019 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition point to a future where portraits empower the disenfranchised. The triennial competition, founded in 2006 by an endowment from the late Virginia Outwin Boochever, calls for artists to “challenge the definition of portraiture.” First-prize winner Hugo Crosthwaite does just that. His 2018 stop-motion animation, A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez, illustrates one woman’s journey from Tijuana, Mexico, to the United States.
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announced that artist Hugo Crosthwaite has been named the first-prize winner of the fifth triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, which aims to reflect the contemporary state of portraiture in the United States. Recognized for his stop-motion drawing animation A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez, 2018, Crosthwaite is the first Latinx artist to receive the $25,000 award since the national competition was founded in 2006. Following in the footsteps of Amy Sherald, the previous winner of the prize, the San Diego–based artist will receive a commission to create a portrait of a living individual for the National Gallery’s collection.
Laura Krifka enjoys doing things she is not supposed to do. Having absorbed the tenets of neoclassical painting, she bypasses high-minded seriousness by adding a candy-coated veneer of hyper-artificiality adopted from 1950s MGM musicals to the domestic decor of private scenes she then undercuts with a deviant sexual subtext recalling David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. This irresistible mix of dexterity, decor, decorum and deviance makes viewing her paintings a guilty pleasure — rather like sneaking into a peep show or secretly spying on neighbor’s forbidden acts.
In her first exhibition with Luis De Jesus, Laura Krifka presents a series of seductive, even voyeuristic domestic interiors in which semi-clad female and male figures engage in intimate moments of conversation, reading, and repose. Though at first glance they appear to be straightforward portraits of our interior worlds, a little more looking reveals more choreographed compositions—shadowy figures gaze in at these figures from shrouded windows; the figures themselves angle their bodies; even the wallpaper, so vividly hued and loudly patterned, plays a part, leading our eyes where the artist chooses. Taken together, the paintings present a sly theater of sexuality, or as the gallery puts it, a “game of patience.”
"Painting is an interesting medium — it's old and traditional, and in that respect it has inherent qualities that keep it grounded. It is the most primary visual language, pigments on a flat surface, and to me it acts as a constant reminder of the temporality and physicality of our bodies. By contrast, the types of socio-political power dynamics that I often explore are rather intangible, diffused and abstract."
Laura Krifka is a superlative, if shifty, storyteller — a cross between a delectably unreliable narrator and a canny ventriloquist. Her intriguing recent oils on canvas and panel at the Los Angeles gallery Luis De Jesus Los Angeles are painted with brushless exactitude, their crisp and controlled surfaces belying personal and interpersonal complexities beneath. Krifka tells it super-straight, but the “it” is slant.
Past and present, history and amusement, reality and spectacle are conflated and distorted in Federico Solmi’s monumental media work, The Great Farce (2017), recently acquired by Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art. The Block received the multiscreen, limited-edition work as a gift from the artist’s studio in recognition of the museum’s upcoming 40th anniversary and its related initiative “Thinking about History.”
Speaking of pop culture, if you’re excited to see the upcoming Joker film, you may want to stop by Frederico Solmi’s work at the gallery of Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. The animation and colors present in his five-minute video, The Drunken Boat, are eerie and mesmerizing. Notable historic figures are seen partying together, vulgar smiles on their faces. It’s like a nightmare steeped in a rainbow of colors that you can’t stop watching.
At Luis De Jesus Los Angeles in Culver City, Laura Krifka’s hyper-realistic figurative paintings build to create an uncanny mood. In each work, figures are placed within an interior domestic space, and subtle sexual cues build as you view the works. The breast of a sleepy figure mimics the egg-patterned wallpaper behind her; lemons in various stages of juicing are laid on a table next to a bare buttox. These more overt sexual themes are soon overtaken by more subtle ominous ones—strange shadows fall over the furniture in each painting, as if someone or something is looming just outside of the picture.
With sweeps of blue and white, painter and photographer Lia Halloran explores the often overlooked accomplishments and progression of women astronomers through her exhibition The Same Sky Overarches Us All. Curated by Taras Matla, acting director of the University of Maryland’s Art Gallery, the exhibit is beautiful — and it has an admirable purpose. “Everyone’s promoting gender equality… this is a good place to portray female accomplishments,” said Victoria Hernandez, a senior art and communication major who works in the art gallery.
Throughout The Body Electric,groupings of artists demonstrate shared engagements with themes of transgender identity (Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker, Juliana Huxtable), visualizing queerness (Paul Mpagi Sepuya), and race (Howardena Pindell, Lyle Ashton Harris), speaking to how we negotiate our sense of self in relation to media-driven systems of representation.
Drucker, the 36-year-old transgender artist, activist, actress and producer of the television series Transparent, who The New York Times described as “tall and blonde with eyes as blue as swimming pools”, momentarily loses her train of thought.I had asked her what she sees when she sits in front of a mirror. “That's such a revealing question, it's wonderful,” she says, smiling.
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announces the acquisition of a photograph of the bust of Shonke Mon thi^, who was a prominent warrior and spiritual leader of the Osage people and hereditary Chief of the Pa tso li^ Big Hill Band at the turn of the 20th century. This work by Latino artist Ken Gonzales-Day was first displayed by the Portrait Gallery in UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar, which was presented as part of the museum’s 50th anniversary exhibition program.
Now, it seems the Shed, a new arts complex in the heart of Hudson Yards, may be going through its own, lower-key crisis. Earlier this month, a boycott of fitness properties such as Equinox, Soulcycle and Blink over owner Stephen Ross’ decision to host a fundraiser for President Donald Trump bled into other investments. The artistic duo who style themselves Zackary Drucker + A.L. Steiner have removed their work from the Shed’s “Open Call, Group 2” exhibition, in protest of Ross’ fundraiser.
Zackary Drucker says she’s used “code-switching” as a trans woman navigating the complex contexts of social and cultural structures. Add to that, she appreciates the nuances of moving between and among the interconnected yet oppositional worlds of fine art and entertainment production in Los Angeles.
Laura Krifka takes on the classical stance of European academic painting in her first solo show with Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, smashing ivory tower patrician preciousness with a cheeky wit, advanced technique, and lush elements of both social realism and rococo modernism. The new work represents an evolution from her Flemish Renaissance style toward more modern visual cues and a crisper hand that is less folk-inflected and while not quite surreal, are certainly uncanny.
I’ve been running THE FRANKLIN with my husband Dan Sullivan since 2012. THE FRANKLIN is a gazebo type of space designed by us and located in the backyard of our home. After completing my MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000, the artist-run community in Chicago became my preferred to-go-to community. I was fascinated by the energy, enthusiasm, comradery and complicitness I kept finding while experiencing the artists-run spaces. This experience brought me lifetime friendships, my first exhibition at a major Chicago art museum and an invaluable collection of art that continues to grow. Exchange, support and the gift of visibility are all a part of the M.O. that motivates us to foster the artist-run model as an intricate part of our life philosophy.
Ken Gonzales-Day is a historian, and the author of the book Lynching in California. He included the Callahan lynching story in his book as an unconfirmed case. And he says that people don’t often realize how common racist violence was in the history of the Western US. “I wanted to write a book to clearly demonstrate racialized violence was active in California, and that it wasn’t just some sort of race-neutral wild-west frontier sort of activity, which is what many people thought at the time,” he says.
Laura Krifka’s forceful painting, entitled Grab Bag, 2016, oil on canvas, 40” x 30,” is a wonderfully perplexing image of a nude woman covering her genitals with her hands, in a harsh flash bulb kind of light. Her vintage hairstyle and the sleazy curtain behind her, plus the strange color sensibility (it almost appears like a colorized black and white film still) make it seem like a still photo from the 1930’s to 40’s. It’s almost like she is on display in a Hollywood casting couch kind of way.
Concordia grad Nicolas Grenier has been shortlisted for one of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art prizes, the Sobey Art Award. Global’s Tim Sargeant meets the Montreal artist who could walk away with a $100,000 prize.
Few other places in New York conjure up such strong feelings. For residents, those feelings range from irritation to revulsion. For tourists, it’s a must-see falling somewhere on their itinerary between the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State building. From the unwashed hordes to stores that can be found in any mall to the neon sorcery decking every block, there’s no question that Times Square is a repository of excess in every way. Whether you find it distasteful or endearing, there’s no denying its pull, even if your personal contact with it is limited to TV on New Year’s Eve or, for locals, a train transfer on its many platforms.
Best known as a co-producer of the TV series Transparent, Zackary Drucker is an artist-activist who has devoted her career to making the world less grey and lonely for people who, like her, define themselves as transgender or non-binary. Her photographic and video artwork has been shown at the Whitney Biennial in New York, the Venice Biennale, and nominated for an Emmy. But in one of her most recent projects, she has resorted to direct action, creating an open-access database of pictures available to any media outlet, anywhere in the world, wishing to represent people who don’t fit into traditional gender moulds.
Beautifully curated, Three Years: The Davyd Whaley Foundation, exhibited at Castelli Art Space in June, offered a look at the works of seven artists supported by the foundation over the past three years. The collection of diverse, exciting art included a wide range of lustrous works; a mix of sculpture, paintings, and photography.
“My transition from young white boy with a false sense of privilege in the 1970s to young tranny-girl with little or no privilege was a real smack in the face,” Rosalyne Blumenstein wrote in her 2003 autobiography, Branded T. “My spirit and soul seemed to be uplifted and smashed on a daily basis.”Blumenstein is an icon. I met her, in 1993, when I came to New York as a newbie trans activist from San Francisco and visited the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center, where Blumenstein, a self-described “woman of transexual experience,” lent street cred as director of the center’s pioneering Gender Identity Project, which included an HIV-prevention program for trans people.
When tasked with defining America, the forefathers of this country attempted to create a union that, though forged in rebellion to an oppressive regime, was ultimately funded by slave labor. By declaring this land a union where all men are created equal, only to deny representation and basic civil liberties to all who are not white men, the framers of our constitution bequeathed to us a contradiction that we are still working to correct today. Almost 250 years later, with the divisive nature of our political system and a multitude of bifurcation points within each party, it seems that defining the American identity has become nearly impossible.
Jamie Martinez: Congratulations on your recent shows, especially the solo booth with Ronald Feldman at the last Armory. It was one of the top booths in many publications. We’ll have to get back to that. Can you first talk about your background in the arts and your journey to becoming an artist in New York? Where did it all begin? Federico Solmi: Well, it’s a long story. It all began almost 20 years ago, when I left my hometown: Bologna, Italy, and I decided to move to New York to pursue a career in the arts. It was the best decision of my life, of course; not an easy decision, but it proved to be the right one.
“Guest-edited by Tilda Swinton. Inspired by Virginia Woolf,” so reads the cover of this year’s summer edition of Aperture. The issue and the accompanying exhibition are centered around Woolf’s 1928 novel Orlando, a piece of writing Swinton knows intimately, as she embodied the character Orlando in Sally Potter’s 1992 film adaptation of the novel.
I have always been an artist, but have moved across disciplines while maintaining a persistent interest in material, pattern and engagement with industrial processes. Curating works of other artists has become a strong component of my work with love for my community and peers. I do this work with a spirit of inclusivity and generosity.
Concordia grad Nicolas Grenier, BFA 04, is among five shortlisted candidates in the running for the Sobey Art Award, the largest prize in Canada for young artists. The prestigious prize for contemporary Canadian art is awarded annually to a Canadian 40 or younger who has exhibited work in a public or commercial art gallery in the previous 18 months.
Your Body is a Space That Sees is a series of large-scale cyanotype works (approximately 6ft x 6ft) that source the fragmented history and contributions of women in astronomy to represent a female-centric astronomical catalog of craters, comets, galaxies and nebula drawing from narrative, imagery and historical accounts of a group of women known as ‘Pickering’s Harem’ or the ‘Harvard Computers’. This little-known group of up to forty women made significant influences in the field of astronomy by setting up classification systems that are still used today to measure the distance,at and chemical content of stars and yet were paid less than half the wages of men.
Caitlin Cherry’s growing invaluability to the art world should come as no surprise; her commitment to black female subjectivity places the oft-imitated but systematically dismissed aesthetics of hip-hop hustle front and center, posing a real threat to the sleepy status quo we've come to expect from genre figuration. Smart, subversive, and incontrovertibly sexy, Cherry's pieces hum with radioactive irreverence, transforming viewers into beholders with the flick of a brush.
The Sobey Art Foundation and National Gallery of Canada have named the five finalists for the 2019 Sobey Art Award, which is presented annually to a Canada-based artist age 40 or younger. The finalists represent Canada’s five geographic regions, with Nicolas Grenier representing Québec. An exhibition of works by the short-listed artists will open at the Art Gallery of Alberta on October 5, and the 2019 Sobey Art Award winner—to be revealed on November 15—will receive 100,000 Canadian dollars ($75,300).
A Toronto artist showing in Berlin, a Montrealer working in Los Angeles and an Inuvialuk artist based in Calgary are among this year’s finalists for the $100,000 Sobey Art Award. The leading visual-art prize for younger artists, the award recognizing Canadian artists 40 and under from five regional categories, will be announced in November.
The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada are delighted to announce the five finalists for the 2019 Sobey Art Award. As one of the world's most prestigious contemporary art prizes, the Sobey Art Award is presented annually to a Canadian visual artist age 40 and under."The Sobey Art Award helps to keep the National Gallery of Canada current within the dynamic landscape of contemporary art in Canada. It offers invaluable opportunities to exchange ideas between curators and artists across the country, and the chance to learn about a myriad of different artistic practices." notes Dr. Sasha Suda, CEO and Director of the National Gallery of Canada.
A flag, any flag, is the very definition of a symbol, a thing that exists in the service of what it represents, such as a nation for example, or a movement. At the same time, a flag is also a color story, a designed image, and a made object. The American flag in particular enjoys status as both image and object as well as symbol. Its distinct patterns are perhaps the most recognizable and narratively fraught in the world. Laws prohibit its physical destruction, but not its use as elements of corporate logos, fashion items, and superheros.
Multidisciplinary artist Edra Soto raises important issues through simple means. Her large-scale sculptures and interventions are modeled on ornate fencing and other architectural details native to Puerto Rico; they’re a subtle introduction to a rich and nuanced cultural history. Recently, she’s begun including “viewfinders” within these fence-like constructions, loaded with photographs from the island and elsewhere. Her projects are simultaneously universal and intensely personal—as is the case with her ongoing fascination with Iris Chacón, a performer and entertainer she first encountered on television as a child.
First published in 1985, the essay by Donna Haraway known as The Cyborg Manifesto made waves by criticizing the gender essentialism and idenity politics of feminism and encouraging people to unite with others baded on affinity. It proposes the symbol of the cyborg as rejection of boundaries "unfaithful to their orgins" and that this symbol can help to free peple from racist, male-dominated capitalism. The essay also purports that the "boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion."
Jasper Johns famously attributed the origin of his iconic painting of the American flag to a vision he had at night; likewise, June Edmonds arrived at her first stroke-by-stroke reconstitution of a flag through a dream she had in 2017, after she returned to her home town of Los Angeles from a residency in Paducah, Kentucky. In her case, though, it wasn't about the same stars and stripes; during her residency, while driving to Memphis, she had seen a wall-size Confederate flag—a looming, unapologetic beacon still standing on the Southern hillside—to which she later responded in a series of paintings.
For Aperture’s Summer 2019 edition, guest editor Tilda Swinton turned to Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel Orlando for its uncannily prescient explorations of gendered identity.Set in the 16th century, the titular protagonist lives for 300 years, sliding back and forth between the genders on the way. Swinton’s fascination with the novel began when she starred as the titular character in the 1992 film adaptation directed by Sally Potter.
The actress makes her first foray into art curation in a photography show that revolves around the gender-defying themes of Woolf’s novel Orlando.Tilda Swinton can boast of many achievements, having performed in more than 70 films, including Michael Clayton, for which she won an Oscar in 2008. In a way hers is the broadest of careers, stretching from her salad days of the 1980s working with the acclaimed independent director Derek Jarman to her appearance in this year’s Avengers: Endgame, which is already one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.
Long relegated to the margins of the art world, LGBTQ artists have always tested the borders of expression. Now they’re claiming their place at center stage.Zackary Drucker’s videos delight in deconstructing gender binaries (she’s also a producer on Transparent).
June Edmonds, Allegiances and Convictions, at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. An exhibition by the L.A.-based painter dwells on the significance of flags — both as visual statements and tokens of identity. In this case, each of her flags pays tribute to African American history past and present.
The solo exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist June Edmonds at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is a series of multi-colored paintings inspired by the American flag. All of them, vertical, and in earth tones, evoking the variety of brown skin colors.
TRhe Festival of Jewish Arts and Music (FOJAM), formerly Shir Madness Melbourne, takes over the Melbourne Recital Centre in a day-long immersion of contemporary Jewish culture with 30 performances across music, theatre, dance and conversation on Sunday 8 September, 2019.
Edra Soto's warmth, generosity, and kindness are apparent (and contagious). She speaks candidly about her work, her influences, and her upbringing in Cupey, Puerto Rico. Her motivations, her life experiences, and her perspectives push her audience to more closely examine their own neighborhoods, sidewalks, fences and homes. In a contemporary art world that can often reject the participation of the audience, Soto takes the hands of her viewers and looks them in the eye. She acknowldges their bodies, their physical presence, and their memories. Her artistic and personal lives are bound together, which some might consider a great risk. However, her exceptional body of work deomnstrates the opportunity for shared growth by revealing vulnerabilities.
The anchor fair of the week promises to be just as chock-full of programming as in previous years. There are also some new additions, including the Diálogos section, which will show works by Latinx and Latin American artists like Ana Mendieta, Ken Gonzales-Day, and Marta Chilindron; and the Frieze sculpture prize, a new commission made this year by up-and-coming artist Lauren Halsey.
Another themed section of the fair turns a spotlight on contemporary and modern Latin artists. Taking cue from the legendary performance artist Ana Mendieta, Diálagos presents works from artists whose practice includes a bold sense of color, pageantry and performance, alongside a highly politicized examination of identity. Ken Gonzales-Day explores, through various media, the material legacies of identity-based oppressions, casting an unflinching eye over histories of slavery, colonialism, gender-normativity and other systemic evils.
El Museo del Barrio, the NYC museum dedicated to Latinx, Caribbean, and Latin American culture turns 50 years old this year. Frieze New York, the biggest week of the year for art in New York, kicks off on Thursday, and it won't overlook the milestone of the institution, which was founded in 1969, when Latino artists were largely overlooked by mainstream museums.
Double Horizon takes its title from Lia Halloran’s three-channel video installation composed from documentation of roughly thirty flights the artist made in the course of her training in air piloting and navigation and early aviation experiences over the greater Los Angeles area. In its play of continuous moving and transformed moving images, the work represents a significant departure from work that precedes and continues alongside it.
Adventurous and thought-provoking but remarkably free of big artistic statements and the attendant egos, an exhibition at the artist-run project space Serious Topics in Los Angeles might be the antidote to the international biennial surveys opening next month. The artists who organised the show, Kristin Calabrese, Joshua Aster and Torie Zalben, call it Dreamhouse vs Punk House (Plus Cat House). Very few of the nearly 200 miniature paintings and sculptures included measure more than 5 by 5 inches and most are significantly smaller—beautifully installed in three hand-built, high-rise dollhouses, each with its own character.
Graft (2018), the most recent version of Soto’s ongoing series of architectural interventions, transforms the Cultural Center’s lower-level gallery into a site for active viewing and engagement, in keeping with this civic institution’s public mission and the artist’s commitment to social practice. The central component is a continuous wood screen that runs the length of the gallery’s street-side windows, obscuring our view of the outside world. Instead, the viewer’s gaze is directed to the screen inside, painted a vibrant monochrome coral and punctuated with a rhythmic pattern of geometric cut-outs.
How far will an artist go to create their work? ORLAN altered her physical appearance, transforming herself using elements from famous paintings and sculptures via plastic surgery. Marina Abramovic invited Museum of Modern Art visitors to sit still and silently across from her for unspecified durations of time over 10 weeks in 2010. Lia Halloran, an artist who grew up surfing and skateboarding in the San Francisco Bay Area, learned to fly airplanes in order to film the landscape of Los Angeles from the sky.
Another artist involved in the exhibit is Evita Tezeno. “Black female artists are not represented in the community like everyone else is,” she said. “It is more of a male-dominated society. This exhibit is a marvelous vehicle to show what we are made of as a Black female artist.” Tezeno is a print maker and collage artist and has created artwork such as I Am Somebody, which depicts a strong female who has been through a lot.
For “Dreamhouse Vs. Punk House (plus Cat House),” nearly 200 artists made works averaging 4 x 4 inches to be shown in three thematic multi-story dollhouses. It may sound like just so much whimsy, but this delirious exhibition/installation hybrid is an impressive and imperative total work of art. Organizers Kristin Calabrese, Joshua Aster and Torie Zalben achieve a delightful presentation whose ebullience belies the months of planning and weeks of construction that went into it. After all, six-story dollhouses in which each floor’s apartments are conceived, decorated, lighting-designed, transformed into micro-installations and/or curated like proper individual salons don’t just happen by themselves.
The Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground in Queens holds the remains of around 1,000 people, many of them African or Native Americans—but it only has four grave markers, all naming men. The women buried at the landmarked site are now publicly remembered at the Queens Museum, in the exhibition Alexandria Smith: Monuments to an Effigy (18 August), the Bronx-born artist’s first solo show in New York City. “My focus was to honour the women,” Smith says of the show.“Traditionally, women of colour—their stories have been buried or changed, or just not really told.”
Downtown Baltimore got a surprise this April, with the reveal of a large format work of art affixed to the side of Harbor Park Garage, a parking garage located at 55 Market Place. The artwork, which is visible from the Jones Falls Expressway, is a custom piece by artist Edie Beaucage.
Stock photos don't have a great reputation when it comes to gender-inclusivity. Options are limited at best or non-existent at worst.
That's why Vice Media's feminist channel Broadly decided to launch their own stock photo library of gender-inclusive images. The Gender Spectrum Collection includes over 180 images featuring 15 trans and non-binary models
On Tuesday, Broadly, Vice’s vertical covering women, gender non-conforming folks, and the LGBTQ+ community, published a stock photo library featuring more than 180 images of trans and non-binary models that, according to the site’s announcement, “go beyond the clichés of putting on makeup and holding trans flags.” It is the first database of its kind, and, while stock photos might seem like the stuff of goofy memes, it actually represents a historic step forward for queer representation in media.
Lately, I have been thinking of 1 minute short stories when I paint. I want to know who the character is, what is she doing and that she is being herself. I am interested in finding an emotional value to the portrait; then I feel the character has landed. It’s similar to finding the right tone when you play music. My work can range from emotional loss and fragility to bravura and extravagant characters. It is all improvisation and it varies with my mood.
The exhibition is a series of portraits of young Los Angelenos that captures the condition of isolation in a world full of technological distractions. Although more connected than ever with the rise of social media, studies suggest that people are losing their ability to cultivate meaningful interactions. Younger generations in particular – who came of age during this technological shift – have been severely impacted, and report experiencing high levels of social isolation, inadequacy and anxiety that is exacerbated by the culture of hyper-exposure society has embraced.
A photographic image represents the transformation of the three-dimensional world onto a flattened picture plane. In our mind’s eye, we recreate the scene to understand the image. Many photographers are interested in the relationship between illusion and reality and the camera’s ability to collapse or expand space. In the 1970s and 1980s, photographers like Zeke Berman and John Pfahl fabricated interventions in the natural and man-made landscape that only cohered when seen from a specific vantage point— the exact spot where they placed their cameras.
8. Luis De Jesus Los Angeles A new series of works by Peter Williams on view at Luis de Jesus’s booth is not to miss. Within the busy patterns and cheerful color palette, Williams tackles issues of race and representation, power dynamics, and oppression in his dizzying tableaux. Booth F17, Pier 90
A Los Angeles Presence: Ramekin may not be in L.A. anymore, but other dealers hailing from the city were out in force. Kayne Griffin Corcoran sold a Llyn Foulkes work for $60,000 and three Mika Tajima pieces for $7,000 each. A Mary Corse painting was on reserve for a price around $400,000. Luis De Jesus sold two Peter Williams paintings for around $20,000 to $30,000 each.
Continuing her exploration of the representation and visibility of black women, the paintings Caitlin Cherry showed at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles depict black female figures who appear to be trafficking in the sort of flattened sexuality seen on Instagram. The women pose in alluring ways, as if the paintings were selfies that might procure thousands of likes.
There is no single archetype of the art dealer. Many gallerists are known for their selflessness and devotion to the creative process, but there are certainly bad apples, infamous for running glorified racketeering schemes. It can present a tricky dilemma for a young artist seeking representation—eager to take her career to the next stage, but wary of locking herself into a relationship that might not pay off.
Talking with Evita Tezeno feels like the first day of spring after a long, dismal winter. Even though she’s been earning a living through her art since the 80s, she talks about her life, her journey, and her art with the enthusiasm and excitement of a new artist fresh on the scene. Her calm energy and smooth storytelling make an interview feel like a conversation between friends.
In Culver City, I stopped by Luis de Jesus Los Angeles, to see the exhibition of Los Angeles photographer Chris Engman. The trademark of his art is fooling your eye not once, not twice, but many times. And the more his art fools you, the more pleasure it delivers. At the entrance to the gallery, you are confronted by a full-scale installation made out of several vinyl photographs that make you believe you are stepping into water, walking through a forest, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Refraction features Containment, a site-specific work originally commissioned for the FotoFocus Biennial 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as new photographs from the Prospect and Refuge and Ink on Paper series. These various photographic projects range from architectural to sculptural to two-dimensional, each acknowledging strategies of seeing. Refraction explores the relationship between illusion and reality by exposing the deceit inherent in photographic image-making while engaging in philosophical and material play around slips in translation.
The first thing one notices upon entering Caitlin Cherry‘s show at Luis De Jesus is her sensational palette so improbable that it seems to have dropped from outer space. Clashing vibrant colors contrast, oscillate and dazzle as though her paintings were a laser light show. As the shock of hue subsides, you find yourself drawn into a bizarre alternate world ruled by curvaceous mystic black women who exude eccentric glamour while confronting discriminatory stereotypes.
Hollywood loves selling binaries — comedy or drama, period or futuristic, action or romance, which means it should come as no surprise that this same philosophy typically applies to gender. So when Zackary Drucker, a transgender woman who had a background in experimental art, entered the industry in the early 2000s, she (predictably) had a hard time with the adjustment: “We all exist in so many worlds, but trans folks, especially, have a different way of compartmentalizing,” she says. “Sometimes it’s hard to integrate.”
In a world where every image is distorted, manipulated, aspirational and dysmorphic, what is to become of painting's history of generating interpretive, fantastical pictures? Beauty is both longed-for and suspect, female power is both lauded and feared. What is a self-assured paint warrior with an operatic talent and a love of disruptive art history supposed to do?
As the partial shutdown of the federal government enters its second full week, all Smithsonian museums and many other agencies in D.C. and beyond have shuttered for lack of funds, or are getting ready to close for an indefinite period...Other major shows that are, for now, closed to the public include a long-anticipated Bill Traylor retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a Charline von Heyl survey at the Hirshhorn, and a Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar two-person affair, set to finish its run on Sunday at the National Portrait Gallery.
My paintings draw from the full range of abstraction’s possibilities, fusing diverse positions and processes in hard-fought, deeply considered compositions. I execute each work in a series of discrete stages: initial layers of paint are almost completely obscured by subsequent ones, with masking tape used to both inscribe and preserve areas of interest as the composition evolves.
Public art is the icing on the cake in the transformation of Liberty Station from a formal, staid Navy training center into a vibrant entertainment, shopping and arts destination. This year, six artists participated in Installations at the Station, the NTC Foundation’s public art program, which will continue next year. This year’s projects included community-painted skateboards representing a wave and a ship on a rooftop, a braided rope bench inspired by the native tribes and the Navy and murals of border scenes by Tijuana artist Hugo Crosthwaite as part of an ongoing narrative in multiple locations that started in 2009.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds (2018) is subdivided by a tree whose branches spread across the canvas, filling it with foliage painted by means of closely packed green dots, patches of sky denoted by blue dots, and passages of red dots interspersed throughout. Among the branches are six birds and three human faces, two of the faces in profile are barely evident, the third, fully articulated face, looks out from the trunk’s base.
And so we come to the Wildass Beyond of the exhibition itself, a dystopian beyond in the “no where” here and now. You forget that you’re in a city, least of all New York City, when you enter into the idyllic and rustic space, your feet literally in the dirt, so you feel at once reminded of and ensconced in Earth, something that is so easy to forget in the epicenter of global capital and its technologies of cable, wire, concrete and steel. Yet this is the imagined earth that remains after the end of the world.
A panel of nationally recognized curators, local arts professionals and community members from the Purple Line Extension Section 1 area has selected artists to create site-specific, integrated artworks for Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega Stations. The diverse range of accomplished artists includes: Ken Gonzales-Day, Todd Gray, Karl Haendel, Soo Kim, Eamon Ore-Giron, Fran Siegel, Susan Silton, and Mark Dean Veca.
Having seen two exhibitions of James Allen's collected photographs of lynchings — both of them in New York, in 2000—I braced myself for The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America, at Haverford College's Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. The horrific images I saw 18 years ago are permanently seared into my mind.I was curious how this new exhibition of works by prominent contemporary artists would treat such an appallingly inhumane period in American history and its reverberations today.
I first came across Caitlin Cherry’s work through her excellent Instagram account, where she jokes about her art (one of her paintings mocks her for ripping off George Condo), posts pictures of her sphynx cat, and displays new work (recently, a tote bag emblazoned with a W-9 form). Her installation at New York’s Performance Space, A Wild Ass Beyond: ApocalypseRN, brings her into collaboration with Nora N. Khan, American Artist, and Sondra Perry.
The Seattle-based artist fastens long straps to a canvas or wooden panel, which is usually covered in several alternating layers of gouache and acrylic paint. Livingston then attaches the straps to a harness inspired by those worn by body builders for strength training, and drags the painting facedown behind her across varying environments, like hiking trails, city parks, and asphalt roads.
Edra Soto’s Open 24 Hours is an exploration of consumption, waste, and vernacular architecture. Discarded liquor bottles accumulated during Soto’s daily walks through East Garfield Park in Chicago are transformed into jewel-like totems. Rejas, decorative iron screens enclosing outdoor domestic areas in Puerto-Rico, also serves as an influence on the work—highlighting an interplay between security and ornamentation. They are beautiful, haunting, socially conscious works.
Peter Williams’ pointillist painting technique, crowding thousands of tiny dots of enamel color within pencil-drawn contours of people, places and things, is not the same as the celebrated one pioneered more than a century ago by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. His look yields a very different feel from the measured, careful tone of those French Postimpressionists. Brash color is plainly important to the 14 Williams paintings in his Los Angeles debut at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, most (though not all) of which explode with pointillist dots.
With this initial installment of Broadly’s Trans Legends oral history project, which I’ve led as a contributing editor to the site, we are shining a light on trans resilience by gathering stories and wisdom from 13 trans women who have been witness to—and key characters in—decades of LGBTQ history.
In each of the four paintings in Josh Reames’s exhibition BO-DE-GAS, uniformly distributed idiomatic images floated graphically on raw canvas surfaces. Punctuating each of the intimate gallery’s four walls, the paintings were supplemented with three black, wall-mounted handrails that sported a selection of attitude-declaring bumper stickers.
To say that Los Angeles-based artist Chris Engman’s photographs are trompe l’oeil illusions would be a gross understatement. Created through an elaborate and time consuming physical process, his work evocatively merges indoor and outdoor environments into mesmeric compositions that both perturb and dazzle viewers with their non-binary disposition.
Who doesn’t love a good magic trick?! Photographer Chris Engman masterfully demonstrated that augmented reality and light projections are not the only way to create mesmerizing perspective illusions. Good old traditional photography will get you there as well if you’re creative enough. Chris Engman transformed 2D landscape photos into awe-inspiring rooms, where each inch is covered with prints to give off a 3D perspective.
DnA explores moments in the school’s history, which track with LA’s growth as an art and design capital--from its founding on Wilshire Boulevard through its transition from what artist Billy Al Bengston calls its "constipated" years in the 1950s. Alum Garth Trinidad recalls the struggles in the 1990s and remarks on its blossoming in Westchester today. Edie Beaucage talks about being part of the new generation that has revived painting.
Photographer Chris Engman is one of his landscape photos at a large scale in an unusual way: instead of showing it as a 2D print, Engman transformed a room into his photo by covering the wall, ceilings, and floors with prints.It’s essentially what you’d get if you used a projector to project the photo into the space, except he used prints instead of light.
For the first time in its 11 years, the Creative Time Summit, the world’s premier conference at the intersection of art and politics, will convene in Miami from Nov. 2-3 at the Adrienne Arsht Center, Perez Art Museum Miami, Little Haiti Cultural Complex and other venues.This international platform for socially engaged art not only will consider topics of relevance to Miami, but that also were generated by Miami. For instance, sea level rise and borderlessness will be highlighted by Miami’s unique positioning as the major U.S. mainland link to the Caribbean and Latin America, and as a place particularly vulnerable to climate change.
Among purchases by notable individual collections was Kenneth Montague’s acquisition of Jim Adams’s Centurion (Self Portrait) (1977) from Luis De Jesus Los Angeles for the Wedge Collection. The large acrylic on canvas work was purchased on opening night. “Adams grew up directly under a major flight path in Philly, and dreamt of one day flying his own plane,” Montague explained on Instagram. “Upon arrival to Canada’s West Coast while still in his 20s, he immediately got his pilot’s license… and started painting.
We carried onward with excitement to Luis De Jesus gallery where we were met by the work of Peter Williams for his opening, River of Styx. The show’s array of colorful, multi-figurative, narrative pieces was seemingly bright and cheery, yet it alluded to a heavier history. With the political climate so out of wack, Williams’s images address topics quiet poignantly. I had the treat of talking to the delightful artist as he explained that his paintings composed of many marks, were in fact not pointillism.
The 19th edition of Art Toronto includes 102 exhibitors from seven countries, and it kicks off tonight at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. For years, the Surrey Art Gallery has been highlighting important artists overlooked by other Canadian art institutions. Among these talents is the 75-year-old Surrey local Jim Adams, whose retrospective The Irretrievable Moment they presented by the Surrey Art Gallery (as well as the Reach in nearby Abbotsford) in 2017.
Curator of painting and sculpture & Latino art and history at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Taína Caragol, said: “I co-curated UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar with Dr. Asma Naeem, as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s 50th anniversary program..."
Chris Engman’s Prospect and Refuge teaches us not to trust our eyes. On display at the Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery through November 18, the exhibit unsettles our senses of depth and scale, interior and exterior, origin and reproduction. It ushers us into artificial spaces and then immerses us in the tropes of nature. Engman achieves his uncanny effects mainly by taking enormous, high-density photographs and then affixing them to walls, ceilings, floors, and objects in domestic rooms and workspaces...
Though Luis De Jesus and Tarrah Von Lintel technically share an address in the Culver City gallery district, their operations are independent of each other. However, this month these neighboring exhibitions are very much in conversation. Unintended as this confluence is, in each of the three artists having solo shows at 2685 S. La Cienega we see a version of the same dynamic—a totally unexpected, materially subversive and exceptionally analog, labor-intensive take on what would otherwise be traditional mediums of photography and drawing.
Federico Solmi has created a drawing of George Washington, Pope Francis and Christopher Columbus holding the world as well as a glass of wine and other props. Solmi investigates the contradictions and inaccuracies of historical narratives, scanning his paintings into a game engine to combine past and present-day events.
Three large wooden tables that feature in-process paintings, resource books and a host of media are installed in the middle of the Lux Art Institute’s main gallery. The impromptu workshop has started to resemble the studio of artist Lia Halloran as she begins her residency at the museum. Halloran will continue to make work in the space for the next few weeks, while the current exhibit frames her interest in invisible histories and reimagined possibilities in astronomy.
Photographer Chris Engman invites you to enter a world within a world. His photography installation, titled Containment, is an immersive work that features images spanning the walls, ceilings, and floors of a specially constructed room. Upon stepping foot inside the space, you’re transported from a gallery setting to the middle of a bustling stream surrounded by a dense forest with trees cloaking most of the blue sky above.
Artist Chris Engman transports natural landscapes such as waterfalls, caves, and vast deserts to domestic interiors by securing large-scale photographs to the room’s walls, ceilings, and floors. “I believe photography derives its power precisely from the fact it can’t be entered, however much we may want to,” Engman tells Colossal. “When I make photographs I try to be mindful of this, even to exploit it.”
Prospect and Refuge, an ongoing series of work by photographer Chris Engman, investigates the medium of photography through complicated juxtapositions. this body of work explores the relationship between illusion and materiality, nature and the man-made universe, moment and memory. through engman’s documentation and detailed re-creation, the artist asks the viewer to consider how we understand photographs and how we experience the world.
Like the grand sweep of McClure’s paintings, Laura Krifka’s 8-minute stop action animation, entitled “Sow The Wind,” features pioneer children (albeit paper puppets on strings) in a perilous environment filled with angry adults, wild beasts and death and destruction—all the while to the sound of a sweet upbeat nineteenth century waltz.
An exhibition of new works by an internationally acclaimed Canadian artist was inspired by a motorcycle trek across North America.
"I began my career as a documentary photographer. I worked in that capacity (primarily in New York) for nearly ten years. For most of that time, I thrived on the energy and challenges of photojournalism. However, towards the end and over time I began to feel bit constrained – constrained not only by the practical limits of journalism but also the demands of a commercial art practice. In reaction to these feelings, my interest in fine art blossomed."
Danica Phelps draws with uncommon grace. Her line moves with liquid ease, following the momentum of time. It describes what happens in her life, and it also makes things happen. As her beautifually affirming show at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles attests, her line has agency.
Since 1996, Danica Phelps has been keeping track of her income and expenses, integrating details of her financial life into her artworks. Often placed below simple, yet elegant and descriptive pencil drawings, Phelps creates long strips of short vertical lines— red for expenses and green for income—where each painted mark on the page represents a dollar. Using her finances as a point of departure, her layered and multi-dimensional artworks investigate the relationship between labor and value, both within and outside the art marketplace.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce DANICA PHELPS: Many Drops Fill a Bucket, the artist's first solo exhibition in Los Angeles since 2011, to be presented from August 4 through September 1, 2018. The drawings and sculptures that Danica Phelps has created for Many Drops Fill a Bucket record the experiences that she and her son, Orion, shared together during trips to California and India earlier this year.
A Tijuana artist is painting murals to raise awareness about the Trump administration’s family separations in San Diego. Hugo Crosthwaite is painting Mexican families on the beige walls of the Arts District Liberty Station. In one painting, a mother clutches her son. In another, a family behind bars, separated.
Next door, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles has two fantastic collage-centric solo shows on view until July 28th. Dennis Koch: Beyond the Funny Farm! Crypto-K, Cutouts, Cut-ups, Copies, Mirrors, Membranes, and Temporal Algorithms comprises sculptures and works on paper inspired by dizzying literary theory alongside modified LIFE magazines. The artist has incised into the publications, creating compositions that play off of the cover story and the images from advertisements within. My personal favorite is “Sex Kitten” Ann Margret, hair wild, surrounded by a chorus of televisions.It’s the show in the front room, however, that I found myself thinking about days after seeing. SOMETHING ELSE: The Collages of Nathan Gluck is a survey of the late artist’s small works on paper that spans from the 1930s to the 2000s. Gallerist Luis De Jesus was a close friend of Gluck, who himself worked as a window dresser and assistant to Andy Warhol (among many other adventures). De Jesus lovingly organized this tribute with a personal eye to the artist’s singular wit and personality, sorting through a treasure trove of material in Gluck’s estate.
Luis De Jesus hopes that a new class of Latinx collectors will emerge in the US like it has in the African-American community. A former artist and one of only a few successful Latinx dealers in the US, Luis De Jesus understands the difficulty of getting the art world to pay attention. Since founding his gallery Luis De Jesus Los Angeles in 2010, he has made a career of showing young artists with something to say, and has quietly become a staple of the city’s art scene in the process.
If Gluck is known at all, it’s as the man who assisted Andy Warhol in his commercial-art business for about a dozen years, ending in 1966. That standard view of Gluck as playing second fiddle to Warhol isn’t quite wrong, but it gives a false impression of how things stood when they first met, around 1951. At that moment, Gluck, a decade Warhol’s senior, was clearly the more sophisticated, mature, and art-educated of the two. He made this photogram, for instance, exactly ten years before Warhol’s tried his hand at the same medium, while still in art school. This and the other early collages at Luis De Jesus show that Gluck was fully clued-in to the latest in European Surrealism at a moment when Warhol was still literally in short pants.
A pair of exhibits at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles demonstrates two distinctly different approaches to the manipulation of paper in the service of cultural commentary. "SOMETHING ELSE: The Collages of Nathan Gluck" celebrates the centennial of the late artist's birth. Mr. Gluck is primairly recognized as Andy Warhol's early commercial art assistant. But the show at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles presents an overdue retrospective of Mr. Gluck's own versatility and skill with collage, but also the wide-ranging possibilities of art form in general. Works on displayinclude photogram, steel engraving, gouache, watercolor, rubberstamps, and marbalized paper and exhibit stylistic influences of the decade in which they were created, such as cubism, surrealism, modernism, pop, word/ text, and postmodernism.
Transgender representation in media is shamefully scarce, offering few avenues for trans people to see their stories represented accurately in the world of entertainment. What’s even rarer is for trans women, especially trans women of color, to call the shots in the industry. But in the film Mother Comes to Venus by trans director Zackary Drucker, that reality is flipped on its head.
When did you start incorporating printed imagery/print techniques into your work? About seven years ago my practice was driven by drawing and painting, but I became more conceptually interested in the off-handed quick cell phone pictures that I took as progress shots, than in the actual drawings or paintings. The camera added an extra layer of remove and movement and calculation that felt right.
I’m primarily interested in making paintings and drawings but I think that my practice is largely influenced from editing video work. At some point, I got tired of all that I depended on to make video installations, but I still wanted that complexity within my work. The passage of time, multiple viewpoints, and the experiences, sources and interests that lurk behind all images
After years of tenaciously applying, Brooklyn native Alexandria Smith got the news she’d been waiting for—the mixed-media visual artist had been accepted into the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts residency program. Her patience had finally paid off.
Although many artists and non-artists alike engage with the process of collaging, a successful collage is not that easy to achieve. For the merger of unrelated images and/or texts to resonate beyond the obvious, there is much to take into consideration— point of view, message, cohesion of elements, formal arrangement, etc. Juxtaposing disparate elements from various sources does not necessarily construe art. Collage has a broad history and those who venture into collaging must take into consideration their historical precedents.
Something Else represents the first survey exhibition of collages created by Nathan Gluck, who is recognized as Andy Warhol’s pre-pop commercial art assistant. Gluck helped shape and create many of Warhol’s most famous illustrations, ads and designs. He also assisted Warhol with his early transitional pop pieces. The collages on view span nearly 70 years, from the late 1930s through 2008. Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is located at 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd. For information, visit luisdejesus.com.
Condé Nast’s LGBTQ+ platform dubbed "them" has revealed its first major project, Queeroes, a short film series developed in partnership with 5050by2020. The initiative includes a mentorship program designed to elevate storytelling from queer, trans and POC points of view. Mentors include Soloway, Emmy winner Lena Waithe (The Chi, Master of None) and writer-creator-showrunner Tanya Saracho (Vida). Featured voices in the program are Zackary Drucker, Chelsea Woods and Natalia Leite.
The bicoastal art-film nonprofit Dirty Looks today detailed the upcoming edition of its “On Location” festival in Los Angeles, naming the four programs that will form the core of its month-long screening series of queer cinema in queer-oriented spaces...Also on deck for the L.A. edition of “On Location” is a survey of short films and documentation of the life of Zackary Drucker, an influential trans performance artist and filmmaker who has been a producer of the Amazon series Transparent since it premiered in 2014.
Her practice mainly focuses on the body and its relation to sexuality and gender, as well as the hidden aspects of transgender history, through facts and her own sexual identity. Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst also documented their gender transition together, through an amazing series of photographs called Relationship. This project gives an unprecedented, intimate insight and provides crucial knowledge about such an important process.
“THE GREATEST SCIENTISTS are artists as well,” said Albert Einstein. For as long as artistic expression has existed, it has benefited from interplay with scientific principles – be it experimentation with new materials or the discovery of techniques to render different perspectives. Likewise, art has long contributed to the work and communication of science. We asked four outstanding artists to comment on their work and its relationship to science.
The body of work is maximal and grotesque and off-putting, but at the same time viewers can't look away, Cease says. "There's a complex push-pull and a cinematic character to them. They pull you in, they're transfixing. And then you realize what you're looking at. There's an implication, for sure, it's not just skewering the powerful leader, it's also pulling us in and then we realize, 'Oh wait, we're really just sitting back watching this happen.'"
Sometimes what’s absent from a museum says more about history than what’s included. Two contemporary artists—Titus Kaphar, who is African-American, and Ken Gonzales-Day, who is Mexican-American—have spent their careers addressing this issue. In the National Portrait Gallery’s newest exhibition, Unseen: Our Past in a New Light, the two artists take contrasting approaches—and work in two different mediums—to tell the stories of the missing and overlooked. The museum’s director Kim Sajet says Unseen hopefully will act as a town square.
Even before pie charts and bar graphs, before we’re plotting curves and breaking down conic sections in algebra and analytic geometry, we become very accustomed to the graphic visual representation of every kind of trend, concept, and systematized data or information. It almost goes hand in hand with the way we structure ideas, systems, and organizations.The visual concepts become part and parcel of the systems and ideas they express. They become integral to the way we extrapolate, track progress, draw conclusions, predict outcomes.
Los Angeles- based, Gonzales-Day mines museum archives and photographs sculptural objects most of them rarely, if ever, displayed publicly. His work deconstructs racial hierarchies, considers beauty ideals, and evaluates how artists have treated and interpreted white bodies and bodies of color. He embarked on this aspect of his practice in 2008 during a residency at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.
Last Saturday, March 18, a memorial service was held for Jack Doroshow, better known as Mother Flawless Sabrina, who passed away on November 18, 2017. A prolific drag queen and activist, Flawless Sabrina was a queer icon without parallel, whose work and mentorship has profoundly influenced (and continues to influence) generations of LGBTQ+ people. Among Flawless Sabrina’s closest confidantes was Zackary Drucker, an artist and cultural producer who is working to preserve Sabrina’s legacy through the Flawless Sabrina Archive.
News media, despite respective biases, seem to agree in the description of contemporary politics as “complicated” and “divided.” While accurate, this semantic admission fails to demonstrate the accountability of the status quo. Soul Recordings, a group exhibition currently on view at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, examines ideas around representation and meaning amid the persisting trauma of colonial histories.
The opening movement of “Soul Recordings” is a polka-dot revelry, a bedazzled wake-up call, a cymbal-clap altarpiece, a plastic-bead trumpet blast, and a monster of a skull-ringed, glitter-bombed orchestral chord breaking in fuchsia major. This is Ebony G. Patterson’s heartbreaking and eminently Instagrammable mixed media installation work, and the poignant grandeur of its regal and folkloric memento mori is alert and ineffable.
Other videos take a more abstract approach. Three works by Italian artist Federico Solmi, collectively titled Chinese Democracy and the Last Day on Earth Video Trilogy (2011–2014), present a loose narrative and surrealist whirl of political symbolism in a jarring mono-channel animation. Cartoonish dictators and bloodless politicians move through landscapes of corporate logos and flag motifs. There is little sense of specificity, and yet the characters and scenarios feel disturbingly identifiable and common — political machinations have become as predictable, impersonal, and codified as ballroom dance.
Some years ago, a student of mine made what might be construed as a Freudian slip in a written exam, when she bemoaned the pernicious effects of a “dominant white male vulture.” That vulture is certainly still picking the flesh off the bones of mainstream cinema (should that read “manstream”?), and AIFF is doing its best to redress the gender balance, not only by screening work by women (in 2017, 53% of directors who had films at AIFF were women), but also through its Pride Award which is presented this year to transgender media artist Zackary Drucker, a co-producer of Transparent, the Amazon TV series.
Soul Recordings, at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. A group exhibition featuring works by artists such as Lisa C. Soto, Deborah Roberts, Caitlin Cherry and Lex Brown shines a spotlight on our state of political unease. This includes work that examines neocolonial architecture, painting that toys with the nature of stereotype and textile work that takes on issues of gender. Accompanying the exhibition will be an essay written by independent curator Jill Moniz, who organized the very compelling show of sculpture by African American female artists at the Landing last year.
Fast forward 40 years later, and I learn of the second of Durden & Ray’s “Book Club” group shows curated by Steven Wolkoff – the premise being to take a book regarded (then or now) as particularly ground-breaking (which in fact Adler’s book was at the time it was published), and offer a group of artists opportunities to have at and flesh out various aspects of the book – themes, motives, incidents, characterizations, or other dimensions – and/or their contemporary relevance/resonance or broader cultural implications.
“As an adolescent, I discovered that by taking a Polaroid picture of myself dressed as a girl, I could escape the confines of boyhood.” Zackary Drucker, artist, trans activist, and producer of the series Transparent, shares how photography saved her life in the opening letter of Aperture magazine’s latest issue. Themed ‘Future Gender’, the issue is an expansive celebration of trans pioneers and today’s trans icons, guest edited by Drucker herself.
This year’s Round Hole Square Peg is dedicated to the question “What is queer photography?” and Tarely will join jurors Laura Aguilar, Paul Bridgewater, Zackary Drucker, Bert Green, and Robert Summers in selecting Best in Show.
A special in-studio episode of The Limit Does Not Exist! podcast. Lia Halloran is the type of artist who knows no bounds, exploring everything from the depths of our solar system to her local skate park. In this episode, Halloran shares her keys to successful collaborations and why she seeks out learning new skills. Plus, she offers advice on funding your ideas and why personal embarrassment can be a really good thing.
Zackary Drucker: I wanted to start by telling the story of how I found my way to you and your writing as a fourteen-year-old queer youth. It was the mid-’90s and I’d recently discovered the word queer. There I was, in the LGBT and women’s studies section at the bookstore. I don’t know what possessed me, but I shoplifted a copy of Gender Outlaw, and discovered the word transgender, and found myself in your words and in your experience in a way that I had never felt reflected before.
Multifaceted artist, versatile and absolutely impossible to circumscribe in a definition, he works, or rather, he manipulates, or even deconstructs; no, in reality, it dismembers, corrodes and fleshless, everything. Yes, everything. The symbols. Characters. The men. The environment. History. Everything that the artist has seen, heard, read, studied, lived, passed through a meat grinder before being re-assembled and served on a plate that reads «Here is civilization».
Her work is centered on ideas concerned with cultural and individual “Failure” (the failure to make life better), Utopia, and Ruins. Materials such as fabric, glass, steel, Plexiglas, foam, fiberglass, paint, and found objects together with fabrics and yarn are used with both comic irony and heartfelt sincerity, pointing to both material and emotional excess. The uses of vernacular craft processes and folk traditions in combination with digital technologies contradict ideas about progress and technological determinism. While socio-economic questions are raised around ideas about authenticity, labor, and value in the use of craftwork, value is also seen as a projection of ourselves onto things, like cute animals on the Internet, mythic American landscapes, and the built environment.
Curator Trevor Schoonmaker has given the title “The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp” to his edition of Prospect New Orleans, the just-opened fourth installment of an ambitious art fest that has evolved into a triennial affair.
In these days of digital magic, it’s rare to have an “Oh, wow!” moment looking at a photograph. When everything is possible, nothing is exceptional. But Los Angeles artist Chris Engman doesn’t rely on computer wizardry to create his weirdly surrealistic images. Instead, he constructs elaborate, labor-intensive installations, which he uses a camera to document.
IntoThis Podcast is delighted to present our conversation with Montreal artist Nicolas Grenier. With an impressive display of talent, Nicolas lays down a path for self-scrutiny paved with paintings, architectural installations, videos, texts, etc. His works both, seduce and confront the viewer with formalist elements and objective imagery. He holds a BSA from Concordia University and a MFA from the California Institute of the arts. He is represented by Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran in Montreal and by Luis de Jesus Los Angeles in LA.
Même si elles sont conçues individuellement, les peintures de Nicolas Grenier se regroupent autour de ses préoccupations socio-environnementales. L'artiste de 35 ans, qui vit en partie à Los Angeles, a été marqué par l'élection de Donald Trump à la présidence des États-Unis et par sa coïncidence avec la montée des partis d'extrême droite en Europe. / Even if they are designed individually, Nicolas Grenier's paintings are grouped around his socio-environmental concerns. The 35-year-old artist, who lives in part in Los Angeles, was marked by the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and by its coincidence with the rise of far-right parties in Europe.
"When I was four years old, maybe even younger, I would dive into this chest of dress-up clothes that my mother had in the basement and my parents would take Polaroids of me. This is something trans folks have done since the inception of photography. Imagining themselves outside the constraints of their everyday reality."
Featuring work by Cindy Sherman and Juliana Huxtable, and guest edited by artist, activist, and producer, Zackary Drucker, Aperture’s new issue celebrates the infinite possibilities of our identities. Newton’s third law, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” goes far beyond the scope of physics. We can see it in all areas of life, perhaps most clearly where oppression exists and takes root.
Upon coming up with this idea, Grenier then asked himself: “How do I, as a painter, visually display [it]?” The artist, who sometimes spends months developing his projects, admitted he liked the idea of land as a starting point for the pieces in Precarious Geographies. He used it to build upon the ideas and concepts in his paintings.
As a transgender artist, actress and producer, Zackary Drucker (Transparent, I am Cait) is often asked about trans narratives in film and television. In part, that’s why she’s curating the TransNation Film Festival, running this weekend in Los Angeles.
The linchpin of the show is a fictional text Gonzales-Day created from 1993 to 1996 but revisited in 2017. It traces the life of Ramoncita, a two-spirit person, from her early life as a naive indentured servant, all the way to old age as a self-actualized artist. The story is set during the Mexican-American War and involves one other central character, Nepomuceno, a New Mexican who fights on the Mexican side and is forced to secret himself home after the U.S. victory. The book is presented as an historical artifact, with a selection of pages available for reading in the form of framed photographs filling an entire wall of the back room. Many images in the gallery’s front were originally made as illustrations for the book, in which they also appear.
A new tradition may be starting between the transgender film festival TransNation and the St. John’s Well Child and Family Center in Los Angeles. For the second year in a row the two groups are collaborating to bring relevant trans stories to a collective stage. Stepping into a similar role as last year, filmmaker and producer Zackary Drucker (Transparent) has been given the official title of creative director this year.
The illusion of shallow space contained in Tolliver's newest paintings evokes an enthralling game of tug-of-war between figure and ground. Wild color and dancing gestural forms, all vibrantly alive, wrestle one another, pushing forward towards the viewer. The forms nestle tangled within the confines of an intricate lattice— the glue that reigns disparate elements into a complex unity. Each composition employs the modernist grid, which remains always parallel to the picture plane and never tilted into perspectival space. Like a chain link fence or map coordinates, the artist's grid keeps things in check in an otherwise restless space.
Ending DACA will be Donald Trump’s Trail of Tears when he forces American children who lack documentation to a country they may not remember, and more importantly it breaks up families. Breaking up of families was a central component of slavery because it diminished individuals and communities and kept people of color from being seen, or seeing themselves, as equal to whites.
Ken Gonzales-Day's exhibit Bone-Grass Boy: The Secret Banks of the Conejos River at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles in Culver City (through Oct. 28) is the product of such excavations. Tracing his family back to 16th-century New Mexico, the Los Angeles artist learns about his complicated genealogy and writes his family history as if it were a novel in which his ancestors are the characters. The exhibit, which runs as a complementary show to PST, features photographs of the artist posing as each character, both male and female. Most prominently, he performs the role of Ramoncita, a “two-spirited” Zuni woman of New Mexico wearing Spanish colonial garb.
The singularly remarkable thing about Ken Gonzales-Day’s re-creation of his breakthrough 1993-96 photographic project, Bone-Grass Boy: The Secret Banks of the Conejos River is the infinitely expansive temporal envelope it seems to occupy. This is more than partially by design in that it appropriates literary tropes and motives of 19th century frontier novels to serve a much larger conceptual and cultural conversation. That such a conversation might be no less relevant and possibly even more urgent today, though, could scarcely have been anticipated when the work was being made. Now, against a backdrop of seismic human migration and planetary change, it seems as if the project could have been made 60 years ago or just yesterday.
In our culture we find “space” everywhere. It is prevalent as a type of background noise in our speech and writing. Space is taught in geometry, physics, architecture, and even in psychology, with terms like “personal space” and “psychological space.” The (often subliminal) purpose of adding space to terms that stand-alone is to make those terms more passive, and to give the term’s user distance from the subject.
History is written by the victors, or actually by those in power. Since the civil rights movement in the 1960s, culturally specific museums, such as the Leslie-Lohman Museum, El Museo, and The Studio Museum in Harlem, have been reclaiming scholarship and writing history from multiple perspectives, making for a more nuanced and complex interpretation of US history. Those interested in the future of Confederate symbols (flags, monuments, sites) and how to properly provide interpretations that are nuanced and multifaceted, can take a page from the book of culturally specific museums.
And in a photomural by the Los Angeles artist Ken Gonzalez-Day, the body is conspicuous through its absence. The mural is based on one of many photographs the artist has tracked down of lynchings of Latinos, Native Americans and Chinese immigrant men in California in the early 20th century. In the nocturnal picture used here, men milling around a tree look upward, but the object of their attention is missing. The artist has erased the form of the hanged victim, leaving dark, empty space.
"I'm a trans woman myself, and I think that the lived experience that I bring to my job in 'Transparent,' and all of the entertainment projects that I work on, is crucial. You can't just make it up and have this kind of created notion of what a trans experience is like. I think that the only way that our stories can be told accurately is by us."
It says a great deal about the post-genre moment that these works would be at home now in a range of sculptural contexts, even if, for instance, the use of pantyhose was a dramatic, disjunctive move when Senga Nengudi first started engaging with it decades ago. There are striking pieces here using fake fur and innertube rubber (Victoria May), vinyl (May Wilson), industrial felt (Lloyd Hamrol) and found afghans (Miyoshi Barosh). Allusion to the body is one through line, many of the soft surfaces evoking skins, pelts or protective coverings. Contrasts between the animate and the mechanical, the organic and the industrial, is another.
In the main gallery, Eric Beltz’ graphite rendering hangs near nonobjective abstractions; while Soo Kim’s double-sided cut-out print fractures the sight-line of Laura Krifka’s small but incisive Scar (2015) adjoining other female figure paintings by Phung Huynh, Junghwa Hong (painting pictured above) and Georganne Deen. Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia’s paper weaving offers a fitting metaphor for intermingled visions. Others number too many to mention, but each piece in this show exudes a worthy presence; and somehow they all work together. You’ll likely linger longer than you intend.
“We the people” is a slogan for the United States and a rallying cry. But the exhibit asks: Who is the “we”? In response, Christopher Harrison (independent curator and artist), Johnnay Leenay (Minnesota Museum of American Art), Mary Anne Quiroz (Indigenous Roots Cultural Center) and Maggie Thompson (Two Rivers Art Gallery) present artwork with disparate cultural points of view. Artists include Star Wallowing Bull, Zackary Drucker, Rico Gatson, Susan Hauptman, Nooshin Hakim Javadi, Steve Ozone and others.
Laverne Cox narrates the history of the transgender civil rights movement in an illustrated video in collaboration with Time and the ACLU. The video is a collaborative effort from “Transparent” producer Zackary Drucker, artists Molly Crabapple and Kim Boekbinder and Cox.
Nicolas Grenier’s Vertically Integrated Socialism, presented at Centre Clark from May 18 to June 23, is also a kind of ambiguous moral fable. Grenier’s “architectural fiction,” delivered as a live lecture-performance by artist with video accompaniment, takes the form of a condo pitch presentation and warps it into something vaguely dystopian. Originally conceived in the post-crash aftermath of 2009, while he was a student at CalArts with a studio in Los Angeles’ Skid Row, the project is an attempt to conceive a “Machiavellian solution” (i.e., one that “solves” a problem by dispensing with ethical considerations) to the overlapping problems of homelessness, gentrification and real-estate speculation.
The list of participating artists for Prospect.4, titled “The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp,” has been made public. The triennial exhibition, spread across seventeen venues in New Orleans, will feature seventy-three artists from “North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and the European powers that colonized New Orleans, addressing issues of identity, displacement, and cultural hybridity within the context of the celebration of the city’s tricentennial,” according to an announcement from the event’s organizers.
I met my grandmother, Flawless Sabrina, when I was 18. It was 2001, and I had just moved to New York City from Syracuse. I went to the West Side Piers for Wigstock, a drag festival they had back then. I couldn't afford the $20 to get in and see the performance, so I hung out near the entrance and took pictures of some of the queens who were coming in and out. As Flawless Sabrina left, I took a picture of her, and she said to me, "You're on the wrong side of the camera, kid."
Visual artist Lia Halloran's newest exhibit, Your Body is a Space That Sees, features large-scale paintings of astronomical objects that were photographed and catalogued by women working at the Harvard Observatory in the late 1800s. Those women, along with their male colleagues, took thousands of photographs, catalogued and characterized the cosmic objects therein, and changed the landscape of space science. Despite the impact their work had on the world, those women were left out of history for many decades, a fate suffered by many female scientists that is now being somewhat remedied.
Théâtre-vérité, récit-mise en abyme ou exposition-conférence ? Un peu tout cela, le projet proposé par Nicolas Grenier dans un centre Clark méconnaissable. L’espace est feutré et les miroirs tout autour précipitent le public au coeur de l’intrigue. / Truth theater, story-telling or exhibition-conference? A little of all this, the project proposed by Nicolas Grenier in an unrecognizable Clark center. The space is hushed and the mirrors all around bring the audience to the heart of the intrigue.
Artist and photographer Ken Gonzales-Day explores the history of racial violence in America and a survey of his work, Shadowlands, which opens today and runs through April 16 at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, investigates how this history informs our current reality. Among the works is Gonzales-Day's series Erased Lynchings, a set of digitally altered 19th and 20th century lynching postcards, where hanged figures of various races have been removed by the artist, allowing the remaining participants to take focus.
Right now, a large recreation of an early Andy Warhol store window display is on view at The Art Gallery of New South Wales's current exhibition, Adman: Warhol Before Pop. It's a rare piece that was produced by the budding artist in 1955 for high-end department store Bonwit Teller, to advertise a perfume called Mistigri by Jacques Griffe.
For more than a decade, Ken Gonzales-Day has been exploring the history of racialized violence in America, creating several bodies of work that are brought together for the first time in this exhibition. Cumulatively, his work is a powerful and complex statement that challenges what we thought we knew about this country’s great dilemma. The Los Angeles–based artist has extensively researched lynchings in California, where Mexican Americans and Asian Americans were widely targeted during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
In each canvas, Carlson Hatton creates a filigree of geometric and organic shapes that cohere against black backgrounds or fields of sky blue. Playing with positive and negative imagery and all sorts of layered effects, Hatton is adept at weaving together colors and shapes into unified, complex paintings that possess the looseness and abandon of street graffiti combined with a crisp exactitude. Some works have realistic elements in the foreground isolated against a maze of abstraction, but this recognizable imagery is the exception; most figurative and objective elements are well camouflaged.
Although I have known Peter Williams for decades, and have written about his work in the past, we had never sat down and done a proper interview—it’s been more of a 30-year-long conversation. Recently, however, I wanted to get down his thoughts on several of his latest bodies of work: urgent paintings that are at once timely and have art historical resonance. His inclusion in the November group exhibition As Carriers of Flesh, at David & Schweitzer, saw the artist confronting Whiteness and police brutality against black men and women in colorful canvases that unite history, biography, and allegory.
Looking at the paintings gives one a sense that they are viewing a city map, topographical overview or satellite image of some sort. The satellite image effect magnifies the color range and brightness of the sections – making the works burst like a digital photo. The paintings do an amazing job of combinig the influence of the digital and organic worlds on the canvas.
If it seems like Adams’s paintings have a story to them, that’s intentional. He tries to capture “the irretrievable moment” (the title of his art exhibit), which he describes as “where you’re committed to the action but the action hasn’t actually happened yet.” Such is the case with the signature image of his show, Nighthawks (Homage to Hopper).
In a way, Trump bookends the fairs, with Golden Showers playing outside the VIP tent at the end of the pier. Just beyond the entrance, meanwhile, is Federico Solmi’s work, in which two animated clips in elaborate frames, set against a backdrop of red satin curtains, show the new president arriving at a grand palace.
There's sculpture that requires viewing from multiple angles, then there's the kind that stops viewers in their tracks. In artist Miyoshi Barosh's case, audiences are compelled to do both. Her inexplicable, intriguing creations are fashioned from unpredictable stuff such as yarn and cast-off clothes, as well as more "traditional" elements including paint, steel, glass, and more. But the aesthetic arrangement of unconventional raw material yields methodically rendered artworks with a conceptual core. Wry, dystopian undercurrents lurk in the various textures, patterns, and forms all waiting to be teased out.
I was blown away. Krifka is interested in the seduction and terror of American mythology and its relationship to the sublime. Combining a deep knowledge of art history with technical chops that can only be called post-academic, Krifka conjures one powerful image after another. These are not easy paintings; in fact, they are truly weird in the best surrealist sense of the work. Yet they gnaw at you in the way that the best art does. Given the current political climate, Krifka’s exploration of American condition will take on even more resonance.
Last week, Pioneer Works held a lecture discussing Dava Sobel's new book The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars, as part of a series of events bridging the arts and sciences. In a collaborative conversation with artist Lia Halloran and the center's director of science Janna Levin, Sobel took to introduce the audience to the untold story of Harvard’s first female computers.
From the lynching of Charles Valento (aka “Spanish Charlie”) in 1920 to the police shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, Los Angeles-based photographer Ken Gonzales-Day brings America’s violent racial past into the present in a visceral show at the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul. Shadowlands, on display through April 16, amounts to a smart critical analysis of race in America. One series in the show, Erased Lynchings, presents images that Gonzales-Day created from vintage postcards of lynchings in the 19th and early 20th centuries — but the victim has been removed, in order to show only the crowd.
Photographer and Scripps College professor Ken Gonzales-Day decided to take a look at history to see if it would shed any light on the situation. "Initially, I was just trying to understand it as a Mexican-American myself," he said. "I was trying to understand the context in which people could turn against a whole part of the community."
A ghostly tree caught in the glare of headlights at night. A few scattered trees framed by a barbed wire fence in what seems to be a random field. The gnarled branches of a massive oak tree. Los Angeles artist and academic Ken Gonzales-Day creates these and other images. The story they tell is deeper than the roots of the trees, though.
Aude Moreau and Nicolas Grenier are conceptual artists who use the forms and symbols of architecture to make social and political statements in the guise of great visual art. They were recently honoured by the city of Montreal and the Contemporary Art Galleries Association. Moreau won the Prix Louis-Comtois for a mid-career artist, worth $10,000, and Grenier won the Prix Pierre-Ayot for an artist under 35, worth $7,500.
In 2001, Ken Gonzales-Day set out to write a book on Latino portraiture in 19th- and 20th- century California; his research led to his discovery of dozens of images and written records of lynching, and, ultimately, to his 2006 book Lynching in the West, 1850-1935. On view through April 16 at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, Shadowlands, which grew out of this publication, comprises his own photographs, archival images, books, and ephemera. All of this material, along with his photographs about this country’s recent racial violence, deftly compresses history and raises questions about our historic construction of race.
With this we have arrived at the most pertinent aspect of Solmi's work, social and political satire, conducted with forms and methods imbued with sarcasm, kitsch and irony. The artist claims to be self-taught, but also to be a scholar of history, literature and politics, as well as obviously a passionate user of science fiction cinema and video games. If I have to find a model in the past, the references to James Ensor and Emil Nolde, the great blasphemers of the Expressionist avant-gardes, are certainly immediate; in the present, one can perhaps find a closeness of Solmi to William Kentridge, either for the techniques used (even if Kentridge often tends to mix real images and drawings), or for the style often close to the grotesque and primitive.
I think they don’t want to connect because usually satire is not very elegant or polite. It’s always brutal, direct, grotesque, and aggressive. I think my work is connecting better now because I am astute with experience, and of course I’m becoming an older and more mature artist.
This past summer, in a stand-alone cube not much bigger than a closet, Montreal-and-LA-based artist Nicolas Grenier reversed the give-and-take polarities of art-world commerce. For The Time of the Work, Grenier invited 14 artists and one collective to contribute works to the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery’s “SIGHTINGS”project series.